The Front against Ursula von der Leyen


In unusually strong terms the German social-Democrats to attack in the EP, Ursula von der Leyen as the President of the Commission. Also Green and Left to reject them – their choice in the European Parliament seems to be not secured.

Meanwhile, on the Chancellor in the fight to the choice of Ursula von der Leyen to the EU-President of the Commission. There must be a reasonable handling of the candidate, even if you pull a strand: “much of what has since taken place yesterday in Brussels, I would not be stuck now in this category.” This Situation in the coalition is not easy, added the Chancellor.

Already at the EU summit last week, the dispute in the government of the Leyen had led to the fact that the Chancellor had to be included in the vote. The new social democratic Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, from Denmark, on Thursday to be a guest in Berlin, will, however, support von der Leyen.

There is a campaign against von der Leyen?

The strongest criticism of Ursula von der Leyen is currently calculated by the local coalition partner of the German social Democrats in the European Parliament. In an internal paper, which is present the German press Agency, was widely used before the hearing, the candidate, on Wednesday in front of the group of socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament a number of detailed allegations under the title: “Why Ursula von der Leyen is an inadequate and unsuitable candidate”.

The SPD MEP Jens Geier should have brought the critical paper in circulation

In the paper, once again, the so-called plagiarism is alleged-affair to the medical doctor work of the Minister. After a lengthy examination, the craft had been attested to her 2016 of the University, while business faults, she was allowed to retain the doctor title but. In addition, all known allegations are listed from your time as Minister of defence, of the explosion in Costs for the refurbishment of the sail training ship Gorch Fock, the Minister of expensive consultants to have completed up to the “consultant-affair”, according to which contracts outside of the usual procedures. Also, it had not managed to improve the poor equipment state of the armed forces.

In the case of the German SPD group in the European Parliament, the paper is referred to as a pure information gathering with press quotes that have been compiled for colleagues who wanted to be informed about the applicant. The result looks like a press review, under the Headline “Everything Bad, what you always wanted to know about Ursula von der Leyen”.

Most of the allegations against Ursula von der Leyen refer to their work as defense Minister

Finally, the Minister is not referred to yet as a candidate of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who meet at the summit, with the change of personnel had claimed credit for – which means, however, that he ever had anything to do with it. The proposal came from the French President, Macron, and at the end of all government, voted chef of the Leyen.

Unusual Attack

In the case of the occupation of important positions in the EU, it is usually customary to let party-political differences in the pro-European camp aside, and for a country man to enter, if in the Background of an overall political package. The right-wing liberal Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte supported “his” social-democratic candidate, Frans Timmermans, during the EU-summit as a matter of course. Other EU-Commission President were elected, without undermining the own country. Jean-Claude Juncker, for example, had to resign because of a government affair in Luxembourg as a Prime, without that this would have been detrimental to its EU candidacy.

However, there are also counter-examples: In the case of the re-election of Donald Tusk as EU Council President two years ago, his country of origin Poland voted against him and refused to support him. The PiS-government in Warsaw considered him as a political enemy. This came in the other EU heads of government are not so good. You won overruled Warsaw, with visible pleasure, and Tusk his second term.

The greens and the Left voted against von der Leyen

The United Left in the European Parliament has decided, after consultation, that it would not support the German candidate. As reasons, among other things, their “neo-liberal” economic and social policy, as well as its support for the EU can be called a defence policy. They stand for a continuation of the Juncker Commission, the judgment of the group on the left. However, Ursula von der Leyen is likely to have the 41 votes for this camp anyway not expected.

Hard rejection also comes from the Greens, the rate of the Leyen, after the hearing on Wednesday worse than before. When it comes to climate protection, the right of initiative of the Parliament for laws and the rule of law, their versions were weak. “Your answers were mostly evasive,” says Sven Giegold, the German group.

The members of the European Parliament Sven Giegold sees poor prospects for the choice of Ursula von der Leyen

He also warns that they set for companies in the EU have a uniform minimum level of tax is known. In fact, had pointed out to von der Leyen, to the fact that unanimity in the Council was necessary. As President of the Commission, you can make only suggestions. In any case, you will need to use the 74 votes from the Greens probably do without.

Voting may be in short supply

The European Parliament will vote next Tuesday on the candidacy of Ursula von der Leyen. She needs an absolute majority of 376 votes. Except in the case of the EPP, of their own party family, in all pro-European groups declared enemies: In the case of the social Democrats, German, British, Dutch, and other include. Under the liberals you can expect maybe a third of the 108 votes, the national-conservative ECR-Block, it is sufficient, perhaps, for half of the 60 members. Here Poland is upset because the other major parties have prevented the former Minister-President Beata Szydlo, the Committee Chairman.

A replacement candidate? Kristalina Georgieva, managing Director at the world Bank

It is expected all together, it can be enough for Ursula von der Leyen, just to get over the hurdle or not. The ballot is secret and the behaviour of the individual members at the end of unpredictable. It is also unclear how the right-wing populists behavior. Should win von der Leyen, with their votes at the end of the election, it would be a burden for the new President of the Commission.

What happens when Ursula von der Leyen fails? Probably the heads of government will then be the only other conservative woman out of the hat, which is still in the race: the former Bulgarian EU Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva, who is currently working at the world Bank in Washington. It would be a dubious political victory for the German social Democrats.