Home Featured Europe’s conservatives back Ursula von der Leyen for second term as Commission president – POLITICO
Europe’s conservatives back Ursula von der Leyen for second term as Commission president – POLITICO

Europe’s conservatives back Ursula von der Leyen for second term as Commission president – POLITICO

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But her nomination as the EPP’s lead candidate was expected by all. One attendee, casually walking out of the room after the announcement, ironically remarked: “Crazy!”

Leaders such as Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola were earlier seen casting their ballots Thursday, at an event that was a show of force for Europe’s center right.

“I think that she has shown very strong leadership, especially on Covid and Ukraine,” Finland’s Prime Minister Petteri Orpo told POLITICO, while sipping a bottle of Peroni beer. “In my opinion she has [been] becoming better all the time, and I strongly support her,” he said in an interview.

Asked whether it was a shame there was not a true competition, Croatian European Commissioner Dubravka Šuica said: “There is no need to make a performance of this. I lived in Communism, we pretended to have two candidates, here we don’t because we know that she is the leader, and she will win in the end.”

The French Republicans and the Slovenian party of former Prime Minister Janez Janša were among the few rebels.

“We stuck to our political line,” French conservative MEP François-Xavier Bellamy said after the vote.

Asked whether von der Leyen, who is yet to announce a campaign team, will fully embrace the role of lead candidate, Varadkar said: “In reality, European elections in Ireland anyway tend to focus on the candidates on the ballot paper rather than the party of the European party.”

But he added that he expects either or both von der Leyen or Parliament President Metsola to visit Ireland before June.

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