Ursula von der Leyen rules out working with 'Putin's friends' in European Parliament

The President of the European Commission, Christian Democrat Ursula von der Leyen, on Wednesday February 21 ruled out working with parties “friendly” to Russian President Vladimir Putin within Parliament, resulting from the June elections

Ursula von der Leyen rules out working with 'Putin's friends' in European Parliament

The President of the European Commission, Christian Democrat Ursula von der Leyen, on Wednesday February 21 ruled out working with parties “friendly” to Russian President Vladimir Putin within Parliament, resulting from the June elections. The German official, who announced her intention to run for a second term, is the candidate of the European People's Party (EPP), the main political force in the European Parliament.

Asked during a press point about the possibility of relying on a majority in the next Parliament including the ECR group (European Conservatives and Reformists), she remained evasive, while drawing red lines: “Those who are against the Rule of law, impossible! Putin’s friends, impossible! »

“It is important for me to work with pro-European, pro-NATO, pro-Ukrainian groups, who clearly support our democratic values. “It’s more the question of content” that counts, she said, alongside Manfred Weber, president of the EPP.

In the current mandate, this group traditionally builds majorities with the social democrats (S

A surge in far-right movements and the Eurosceptic right

But a few months before the European elections, scheduled for June 6 to 9, in the 27 countries of the European Union (EU), polls predict a surge in far-right movements and the Eurosceptic right. The political balances resulting from the ballot will determine the allocation of positions at the head of the main EU institutions.

The ECR group counts among its members the Polish Law and Justice (PiS) party, Fratelli d'Italia of Giorgia Meloni, the Spanish Vox, as well as, for the past two weeks, the Reconquest! party of Eric Zemmour. Nationalist Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban – the only leader in the EU to maintain close ties with Moscow – has said he is in discussions for his Fidesz party to join the group.

The far-right group Identity and Democracy, meanwhile, has in its ranks the French National Rally, the German Alternative für Deutschland and the Italian Lega, among others. “Each European election brings a change in the composition of different political parties and different political groups,” stressed Ursula von der Leyen. “Those who defend our values ​​against Putin’s friends are the ones I want to work with,” she insisted.