The 22nd Congress of the EPP was one of the biggest events in the European political calendar, attracting 2,200 delegates from 39 countries, including European heads of state, party leaders, ministers and parliamentarians.
The European People's Party (EPP) is the largest political party in the European Parliament and currently holds the presidency of the European Commission and the European Council. The 22nd Congress of the EPP took place in Dublin in March 2014 and was hosted by EPP member party, Fine Gael and EPP President Joseph Daul. The landmark congress marked the launch of the EPP’s EU-wide campaign for the European elections which took place in May 2014.
Fine Gael and the EPP visited The CCD in June 2013, and selected it as the venue to host the congress. Speaking about the decision to hold the congress at The CCD, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny T.D., said 'We in Fine Gael look forward very much to welcoming you to our magnificent Convention Centre in the historical and cultural city of Dublin. I hope you all have a very productive and enjoyable trip to Ireland’.
The main goals of the EPP congress were growth, job creation and restoring confidence in Europe as well as electing the EPP candidate for President of the European Commission, former Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker. In addition to the election, the congress featured addresses from high profile EPP leaders including Enda Kenny, Angela Merkel, Mariano Rajoy and the Presidents of the European Commission and European Council, José Manuel Barroso and Herman Van Rompuy. The congress had the special pleasure of welcoming the leader of the Ukrainian EPP member party, Yulia Tymoshenko, who was recently freed from prison, as well as Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform (UDAR) leader, and former heavyweight professional boxer, Vitali Klitschko.
Bono, the famous Irish musician, philanthropist and co-founder of the ONE Campaign, was welcomed by EPP Secretary General, Antonio López-Istúriz and he delivered a special address, engaging all political sides in the room and promoting Ireland’s interests and efforts.
Following the closing of the plenary session on the first day, Fine Gael hosted a summit dinner at The CCD for 70 EPP heads of state and party leaders. The menu was Irish themed and was delivered by 24 ‘butler’ trained CCD Hospitality staff, who knew every detail, down to what the guests preferred to drink.
The CCD had many challenges to overcome in the lead up to, and during, the EPP Congress, including putting in place an accreditation process for staff, press and subcontractors, security screening and alternative entry and exit routes. CCD Events took over many logistics of the event that would usually be outsourced by clients, such as marquees, blue carpets, furniture, plants and greenery.
Supporting the Gardaí, the EPP and the Department of Foreign Affairs for the arrival of 12 heads of state, was another key challenge. In addition, 600 European and world press members were facilitated for outside broadcasts, which resulted in considerable IT requirements including five ISDN lines, 200 hard wired connections and a manned IT helpdesk.
The EPP Congress was one of the biggest events in the European political calendar with 2,200 delegates made up of 73 member parties from 39 countries, including European heads of state, party leaders, ministers and parliamentarians.
The congress was a landmark event for The CCD, attracting a large number of heads of state to the building at the one time and drawing media attention from all over the World.