Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, receives the green light from the conservatives for a second term

This is a new step on the road to a second term

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, receives the green light from the conservatives for a second term

This is a new step on the road to a second term. The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, received the endorsement of her conservative political family gathered in Bucharest on Thursday March 7. The Congress of the European People's Party (EPP) - MEPs, party bosses and no less than 12 heads of state or government of the European Union (EU) - officially endorsed the candidacy of the 65-year-old German.

The European elections scheduled for June 6 to 9 will result in a renewal of the leaders of the main EU institutions, including that of the Commission, which must reflect the political balance resulting from the ballot boxes.

After a mandate shaken by turbulence, from Covid-19 to the war in Ukraine, Ursula von der Leyen wants to remain the face of the EU until 2029. “We have 90 days before the elections”, launched the former -German defense minister at the podium, thanking the audience for their “confidence” and broad “support”: 400 votes for, 89 against. The head of the Republicans, Eric Ciotti, announced Tuesday on Franceinfo that he had written to the head of the EPP, Manfred Weber, to inform him that the outgoing president “will not benefit from the support of the LR”. The MP for Alpes-Maritimes criticizes Ms von der Leyen for embodying “a form of technocratic drift which is harming our farmers” and “the opening of borders to migrants”.

His compatriot Manfred Weber, the president of the EPP group in Parliament, had previously praised “a solid leader”. With her at the helm, Europe is “in good hands”. The leading political force in Parliament, the EPP is the favorite in the European elections. “Our peaceful and united Europe is being challenged like never before. By the populists, the nationalists, the demagogues. Whether it’s the extreme right or the extreme left,” the candidate warned. “Their goal is the same: to trample on our values ​​and destroy our Europe. And we, the EPP, will never let this happen.”

Muted climate issues

Discordant opinions are still being heard. In the crosshairs, the Green Deal, the main legislative success of the President of the Commission, which has become a scarecrow for the farmers mobilized en masse in recent weeks across Europe.

Faced with this discontent and the rise of far-right forces in the polls, Ursula von der Leyen has been making a shift for some time now, muting climate issues. The far-right party of Matteo Salvini, Italian Deputy Prime Minister, also castigated on Thursday the “miserable and sinister” European Commission chaired by Ursula von der Leyen, whose “crazy policies are destroying Europe”.

Another clear shift, the EPP now advocates a transfer of asylum seekers to third countries in the face of migratory pressure, in its manifesto adopted on the first day of the Congress. “It is we, the Europeans, who decide who comes to Europe and in what circumstances, and not the organized networks of smugglers and traffickers,” insisted the official.

Second group in number of seats, the European socialists launched their offensive this weekend in Rome headlined by Luxembourger Nicolas Schmit, insisting on the "importance" of the vote in the face of the threat of a wave " illiberal” at the ballot box.