Home » Von der Leyen elected EPP top candidate for European elections

Von der Leyen elected EPP top candidate for European elections

by admin
Von der Leyen elected EPP top candidate for European elections

As of: March 7, 2024 6:00 p.m

Ursula von der Leyen has been elected by the European People’s Party in Bucharest as the top candidate for the European elections. In her application speech, the EU Commission President warned against attempts to “hijack” Europe’s future.

Ursula von der Leyen is officially the candidate of the European party family EPP for a second term as President of the EU Commission. At the end of the party congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Bucharest, Romania, the delegates elected the President of the EU Commission as their top candidate.

The 65-year-old received 400 of the 499 votes in the secret ballot, as the EPP announced. 89 delegates voted against her and there were ten invalid votes. “Let’s win these elections,” von der Leyen shouted to applause from delegates.

Von der Leyen ran in the election without competition. The former Federal Defense Minister is hoping for a second five-year mandate as Commission President. After the European elections, the EU heads of state and government must agree on who will head the Commission, after which Parliament will vote. Even if the EPP becomes the strongest force as predicted, von der Leyen will not automatically receive the position.

Warning against attempts to “rewrite our history”

In her application speech, von der Leyen cited the wars in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip and the rise of China as the most important challenges for the 27 EU member states. “And here at home, (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s friends are trying to rewrite our history and hijack our future,” she added. “There can be no doubt about what is at stake in this election.”

See also  Fiorentina beats Viktoria Plzen and advances to the Conference semi-final

According to opinion polls, the EPP has a clear lead over the other political groups despite the rise of right-wing extremist and populist parties in EU countries. Von der Leyen promised to advance the EU economy, combat irregular immigration, strengthen competitiveness and companies and support farmers in a second term as Commission President. She also announced that she would advocate for more financial and military aid for Ukraine in the fight against Russia.

Merz: Von der Leyen “showed leadership”

CDU leader Friedrich Merz had previously honored von der Leyen in a speech. She “gave Europe a strong voice in the world” and “showed leadership” in the corona pandemic as well as during the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine over the past four and a half years.

EPP leader Manfred Weber (CSU) also supported von der Leyen: “Ursula von der Leyen is our top candidate, and all of the programmatic positions of the European People’s Party are shared by Ursula von der Leyen.” This of course also applies to the European election manifesto.

EPP manifesto deviates from von der Leyen’s positions

However, the 23-page text of the manifesto “Our Europe, a safe and good home for the people” contains a number of program points that differ significantly from von der Leyen’s policies at the top of the Commission since the end of 2019.

Von der Leyen’s flagship project “Green Deal” is particularly controversial in the conservative party alliance. The project, which aims to make the EU climate neutral by 2050, earned her the accusation of being too close to the Greens. The EPP election manifesto now states that the “Green Deal” should not restrict the competitiveness of European companies and should not endanger agriculture.

EPP MEPs often voted against the Commission

In the European Parliament, under the impression of the farmers’ protests, the conservatives recently voted several times against the EU Commission’s bills. Due to a lack of support, von der Leyen was forced to withdraw proposals for fewer pesticides.

See also  The AfD is just not included within the European Parliament get together

When it comes to migration policy, the EPP is also pushing for a much tougher approach for the next five-year legislature after the European elections from June 6th to 9th. Europe must regain “control over migration,” the manifesto says, alluding to the more than one million asylum applications that were counted last year in the 27 EU countries, Norway and Switzerland. According to the EPP, third countries should also offer applicants “on-site protection” in the future, according to the program.

Von der Leyen was recently criticized because she did not rule out future cooperation with forces on the right of the conservatives. For example, von der Leyen did not want to rule out collaboration with parts of Giorgia Meloni’s Italian ruling party, Fratelli d’Italia.

With information from Christian Feld, ARD studio Brussels, currently Bucharest

Oliver Soos, ARD Vienna, currently Bucharest, tagesschau, March 7, 2024 12:33 p.m

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Privacy & Cookies Policy