Portada » Von der Leyen will be the candidate of the German Christian Democrats for a second mandate in the European Commission | International

Von der Leyen will be the candidate of the German Christian Democrats for a second mandate in the European Commission | International

by Isabella Walker
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Ursula von der Leyen wants to continue leading the European Commission. She communicated this on Monday to the steering committee of her party, the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), which will unanimously propose her as the leader of the European People’s Party (EPP), a formation which will have to elect its final candidate in a conference in Bucharest on March 7.

“Europe is a home for me, just like Lower Saxony [el Estado alemán del que procede]. And when the question arose whether I could imagine becoming President of the European Commission, I immediately said yes. Today, five years later, I make a very conscious and well-considered decision,” Von der Leyen said after the Berlin meeting. “I would like to run for a second term. “I am very grateful to the CDU for putting me forward today as the main candidate of the EPP,” she added.

Von der Leyen is currently the best candidate to obtain the majority of EPP votes in Bucharest. The names heard so far – the Luxembourg commissioner Nicolas Schmit (of the Socialists and Democrats) or Bas Eickhout (of the Greens, Netherlands) – do not have great political weight. In addition to the CDU and the CSU (Bavarian Christian Social Party), the EPP includes formations such as the People’s Party (PP) of Spain, Forza Italia, the Republicans in France or the ÖVP of Austria.

Von der Leyen’s mandate expires on 31 October. But after the European elections in June, the EU will have to elect the new leader of the Commission. To be re-elected she needs the support of EU governments. Twelve of them are led by the Christian Democrats and therefore belong to Von der Leyen’s political camp.

Leader in polls

Typically, the main candidate of the political group that achieved the best result in the European Parliament elections is appointed President of the Commission. So far the EPP is clearly leading in the polls, so there is a good chance that Von der Leyen could remain in office.

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The former German Defense Minister became the first woman to head the European Commission in 2019. “Today’s world is completely different. We’ve been through a lot together in the last five years. “We have achieved more than we could have imagined,” she explained, referring to a few years that she described as “challenging and extraordinary”.

“In these five years, not only has my passion for Europe grown, but also my experience of how much this Europe can do for its citizens,” he said before listing the challenges he has faced, such as the pandemic global coronavirus. – From which Europe emerged “strengthened as a community”, you assured – or the war in Ukraine – in which “Europe acted immediately”. “We have been on Ukraine’s side from day one,” said the head of the EU executive.

His role at the helm of the European Commission was praised by CDU President Friedrich Merz, who recalled his “reputation not only within the European Union, but also outside Europe”.

“We are very pleased with her availability for a new mandate and will accompany this with great support so that we can continue to see Ursula von der Leyen at the helm of the European Commission,” Merz said. “We took the first step this morning by unanimously proposing her appointment on March 6 and 7 in Bucharest,” she added.

It is not the first time that a Commission President is running for a second term. The Portuguese José Manuel Barroso has chaired the community body twice and the Frenchman Jacques Delors three times.

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