Greens to vote against von der Leyen for EU Commission chief bid

EPA-EFE/ALEXANDER BECHER

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) gestures during a break in the first exploratory talks of four political parties in Berlin, Germany, 20 October 2017.

Greens to vote against von der Leyen for EU Commission chief bid


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The Greens/EFA group took the decision on 10 July to vote against the candidacy of Ursula von der Leyen, following a hearing with the Group in the European Parliament.

The German politician and the EU Council’s chosen one to lead the EU executive through the next mandate held three back-to-back hearings with the Socialists and Democrats and the Liberals from the Renew Europe group and the Greens/EFA. Two other groups decided to discuss the matter further, and the Greens declared they would be voting against her candidacy – thought to be taking place next week.

“The statements of Ursula von der Leyen were disappointing. We did not hear any concrete proposal, be it on rule of law or on climate. We have been elected on a mandate for change and we don’t see how change will be possible with this candidate,” said the Greens Co-President, Ska Keller suggesting that the president of the European Commission “needs to be the guardian of the rule of law and European values,” but that Ursula von der Leyen “evaded our questions on the rule of law and democracy in Europe. This is a major shortcoming on one of the main questions that the EU is confronted with.”

Philippe Lamberts, the other co-president of the Greens added that just a few weeks post the elections where the Greens proposals were endorsed by voters, von der Leyen “is ignoring the climate emergency and even wants to aim for lower climate targets than previously agreed by the European Parliament. Ms von der Leyen is simply not a Commission President that the Greens/EFA group can support”.

“We insist that the voters deserve a democratic and transparent process when it comes to the choice of Commission President. The lead candidate process has not been respected, which is a betrayal of the European electorate,” concluded Lamberts.

The European Parliament is set to vote for von der Leyen’s candidacy on 17b July, with the numbers adding up to a slim majority of just over 400 MEPs for the German minister.

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