ECR Group co-chairs Raffaele Fitto and Ryszard Legutko have reacted to this evening’s vote in the European Parliament that saw Ursula von der Leyen elected as the next President of the European Commission.

“We did not support von der Leyen for a number of reasons. Her programme for more and more centralisation will further erode Member States’ capacity to act independently. This is unacceptable and offers little to voters who have genuine concerns over the speed and depth of EU integration,” said Commenting, Italian MEP Fitto.

“Going forward the ECR will continue work pragmatically as we have always have – from issue to issue, supporting those areas where the EU genuinely adds value and calling for more autonomy for Member States where they are best placed to act,” Fitto concluded.

“We were disappointed with the programme presented by Mrs. von der Leyen this morning which seemed to be a pitch only for left leaning votes. In this role it’s important to be reliable and what we heard in our group meeting last week is completely different to what we heard today. It now looks as though she will be the Commission President for the next five years so we will work constructively where we can, but clearly there are some serious differences and concerns from our side,” added Polish MEP Legutko.