A second term for von der Leyen? The deal is far from over

A “misstep”, and she loses her possible second term at the head of the European Commission. On June 27, the name of the current president of the institution, Ursula von der Leyen, was proposed by the European Council to continue managing the executive body of the EU for five more years. But, as noted Der Spiegel, The Christian Democrat is on a tightrope. A strategic error and one that “knows how to govern, but generally has difficulty bringing people together” could see “all his efforts go out the window”.

The support given by European heads of state and government is only a first step. To remain in her post, the German must now obtain the approval of the European Parliament, “which should turn out to be much more complicated.”

She needs the support of her own group, the European People’s Party (EPP, right), but also that of the liberals of Renew Europe and the Socialists and Democrats (S&D). Three groups which together have only a small majority. However, the Socialists and Democrats “have always been clear: (if she wants their help), von der Leyen must not ally with far-right parties”.

Contradictory injunctions

For the sixty-year-old, “psychological tension is at its peak”, estimates the left-wing weekly. Because part of his political camp is calling for a “right turn” and an alliance with the far-right group of European Conservatives and Reformists (CRE), become the third force of the European Parliament. But at the same time, “His coalition partners are asking him to do the opposite”. And discussions with the Greens, who are not very popular with the CRE group and some European conservatives, further complicate matters.

In this context, the attitude of the Italian Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni, during the last European Council could help von der Leyen. While she voted against the nomination of the Portuguese António Costa as head of the European Council and against that of the Estonian Kaja Kallas as head of European diplomacy, the far-right leader abstained regarding Ursula von der Leyen, without providing her support.

His party, Fratelli d’Italia, is precisely one of the pillars of the Conservatives and Reformists. For the Hamburg newspaper, Meloni’s abstention was “the best thing that could have happened to Ursula von der Leyen.”

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