European Interest

European Parliament to vote on Ursula von der Leyen on July 16

Flickr/GUE/NGL/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
The European Parliament will vote on Ursula von der Leyen on July 16.

The European Parliament will vote on Ursula von der Leyen, the candidate for the top job of the European Commission, on July 16 according to the EP spokesman.

The nomination of German Defence Minister Ursula Von Der Leyen for EU Commission President was severely criticised by many leaders of Parliamentary groups.

MEPs expressed their disappointment because the Council did not nominate a leading candidate proposed by the EP political parties.

“Our Group will wait to hear back from Ms. von der Leyen, as we understand that we made very concrete proposals. We did not have enough answers, so we will write down our demands and we will assess her on the basis of the responses we receive. Some of our priorities, such as building a European migration policy based on human dignity and solidarity, will also demand action from the Council. However, we want to know whether we can count on the Commission to fight for it. Our Group will hold another debate ahead of the vote, where we will evaluate to what extent our demands can be fulfilled, and only then will we adopt a group position regarding the vote,” said S&D president Iratxe García.

“Renew Europe recommends the EPP and ECR put forward more suitable candidates, who respect our common European values,” wrote on his Twitter account on July 9 the President of Renew Europe Dacian Cioloș.

“For us it’s clear: @Vestager and @TimmermansEU should be put on an equal footing in the next @EU_Commission! #RenewEurope”, wrote today the RE President.

The Greens are also against the election of the German Defence Minister.

“We didn’t hear concrete proposals from Ursula @vonderleyen, be it on rule of law or on #climate. We have been elected for a mandate of change and we don’t see how this will be possible with her. This is why as @greensefa we decided not to support her candidacy next week,” wrote on her Twitter account co-president of the Greens/EFA group Ska Keller on July 10.

The GUE/NGL Group decided to vote against after the Group’s meeting with von der Leyen today.

“We will not support Ursula Von Der Leyen’s candidacy for Commission President. We demand a truly democratic process for EU top jobs and an end to backroom deals,” said acting GUE/NGL President Martin Schirdewan.

The ECR Group said is closer to von der Leyen’s views but didn’t make a decision yet.

“We were happy to invite Mrs. Von der Leyen to our Group meeting for an exchange of ideas. There are clearly some areas of agreement, but not on every issue. The fact that Mrs. Von der Leyen did not run as a lead candidate for one of the European parties is not an issue for us, her qualifications and programme are much more important. We will continue to reflect internally on her nomination over the coming days before making a decision ahead of the vote on Tuesday,” said co-Chair of the ECR Group Ryszard Legutko on July 9.

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