Home Featured Macron ally slams French EPP for ‘attacking’ von der Leyen – POLITICO
Macron ally slams French EPP for ‘attacking’ von der Leyen – POLITICO

Macron ally slams French EPP for ‘attacking’ von der Leyen – POLITICO

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The French conservative Les Républicains (LR) as well as the Slovenian party of former Prime Minister Janez Janša were among the rebels who publicly refused to back the Commission president at a congress in March. More recently, there are signs that support for von der Leyen is looking shaky in EPP’s Italian and Spanish delegations.

On whether Macron himself would back the current Commission president, Beaune said von der Leyen’s bid “was not excluded in advance” and hinted at renewed support for her, with negotiations focused on “stability and balance.”

The French president has been keeping his cards close to his chest, refusing to openly back von der Leyen for a second term, while also letting allies float Mario Draghi as an alternative.

“We all need the EPP, the S&D and Renew to agree to vote on a candidate. If our votes get scattered, and if everyone becomes too difficult … we will push candidates to work with extremist parties,” he said.

Beaune, who has ambitions of becoming the next mayor of Paris, was particularly scathing toward the French conservatives, who don’t support von der Leyen due to her track record on the Green Deal and pushing for nature conservation targets in farming.

On Thursday, the LR’s lead candidate François-Xavier Bellamy wrote on X: “If the president of the European Commission is not reelected, it will be thanks to the fight we’ve led which put her in the minority in her own party. It’s inside our political group that the decision will be made.”

For Beaune, Bellamy’s attacks on von der Leyen are full of “hypocrisy and incoherence.” “They are slamming the Commission president, because in fact they want to blast Brussels, blast the bureaucrats,” he said.

Eddy Wax contributed reporting

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