Ursula von der Leyen on demining mission in Brussels

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Many MEPs are reserved for the designated President of the European Commission.

By Jean-Pierre Stroobants and Sophie Petitjean Posted today at 11h03

Time to Reading 4 min.

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The President-designate of the European Council, Charles Michel, accompanies Ursula von der Leyen, the President-elect of the Commission, to a meeting at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on 8 July 2019.
The President-designate of the European Council, Charles Michel, accompanies Ursula von der Leyen, the President-elect of the Commission, to a meeting at the Egmont Palace in Brussels on 8 July 2019. FRANCOIS WALSCHAERTS / AFP

It is a decisive week and a sort of election campaign for MEPs that Ursula von der Leyen started on Monday, July 8, before his candidacy for the presidency of the European Commission was confirmed by the Parliament of Strasbourg – July 16 in principle. German Defense Minister Surprise Candidate After Heads of State and Government Dismissed Spitzenkandidatenleaders of the European People's Party and the Socialists (Manfred Weber of Germany and Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands respectively) will have to win at least 376 votes – an absolute majority of the 751 elected – to succeed on 1st November, to Luxembourger Jean-Claude Juncker. She went to Brussels on Monday, July 8, to try to convince MEPs.

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His election, after a secret ballot, seems, at this stage, "Possible, but not guaranteed", fears an internal source at the EPP. The Conservative candidate may, in principle, count on the 181 votes of this formation, even if, in the conservative camp too, the elimination of Mr. Weber struck, especially since it was accompanied by rather scathing remarks , including President Emmanuel Macron, on the lack of experience and scope of the interested party. "The future of the European Union can no longer be decided behind closed doors by secret plots", judges Esteban Gonzalez Pons (EPP).

The liberal democratic group Renew Europe, which has rallied the elected Macronists, should, meanwhile, bring its 108 votes to Mme von der Leyen, who will still have to get the support of at least 87 MEPs to get the job done.

Uncertain answer

The Social-Democratic Group (S & D) has 153 of them, but the conditions of the choice made by the European Council have run up against the SPD Germans and their British, French, Spanish, Dutch and Belgian colleagues. All expected a deal in favor of Timmermans to promote an ambitious social and climate agenda. The socialist elected representatives of the Eastern European countries also regret, deploring the absence of a representative from Central and Eastern Europe to one of the main positions of responsibility of the Union.

The leaders of the East did not want Mr. Weber, who ended up suspending the Fidesz Viktor Orban in the EPP, nor Mr. Timmermans, criticizes the non-compliance with state rules in Poland, Hungary and Romania. So they supported Mme von der Leyen, but only obtained the promise of a vice-presidency of the Commission for one of theirs, while the Belgian liberal Charles Michel won the presidency of the Council and Christine Lagarde that of the European Central Bank, the Spaniard Josep Borrell being designated as future High Representative of the Union.

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