Ska Keller, a 37-year-old German politician, and Bas Eickhout of The Netherlands were elected as the European Greens’ co-lead candidates as they weigh into a crowded field of contenders all jockeying to be the next EU Commission President, which will be voted on in the European Elections scheduled for May of next year.
Keller is a veteran of the EU’s sometimes controversial Spitzenkandidat process, the commonly-used German term for the method of linking European Parliament elections by having each major political group in the parliament nominate their candidate for Commission President prior to the elections. As a young politician, Keller already has extensive experience in EU politics, having been a member of the European Parliament since 2009.
Both she and Eickhout are current MEPs, with Keller as the co-leader of the Greens in the European Parliament.
In her acceptance speech, Keller said the Greens have a great major role to play in helping to turn the tide against the rise of right-wing nationalist forces that have come to prominence across Europe over the last two years.
Echoing her statements about defending against far-right populism and propping up democratic institutions, Eickhout added, “it’s time for a change and for a Europe that is fighting climate change. For too long, multinational corporations would have had a grip on Europe and put profit and growth above everything else.”