Ahead of Tuesday’s crucial vote in Strasbourg, the EU may be left in the lurch as it will be caught in the mid-summer season without a solid path forward if Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee for the European Commission presidency, fails to secure a majority in the European Parliament.
According to the treaties, if the newly-elected MEPs reject the European Council’s chosen nominee, the EU’s leaders have 30 days to table a new candidate. In this case, an emergency EU Summit would be most likely be scheduled for 24-25 July.
Von der Leyen has already announced that she will step down and hand over her portfolio as Germany’s defence minister, regardless of the outcome of Tuesday’s vote.
According to an EU source familiar with the current situation, 60-70 MEPs from the most divided political family of Socialists and Democrats are not expected to support von der Leyen, while 80-90 MEPs are expecting to cast their vote for her candidacy. Socialists MEPs from Germany, The Netherlands, and France have not come out in favour von der Leyen after the group’s chosen lead candidate, Frans Timmermans, failed to earn enough support.
Socialist MEPs from Spain, Portugal, and Italy have said they will support von der Leyen, which will most likely see her secure the 374 votes she needs to be elected as Jean-Claude Juncker‘s successor as President of the European Commission.