The process which was to be followed was that of the Spitzenkandidaten, meaning, lead candidate. Through this process, Manfred Weber, the candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) was expected to become President. The process was not respected, said Jean-Claude Juncker, also a member of the EPP political family.
“The process has not been very transparent,” said Juncker from Finland, where his Commission is visiting the new rotating presidency holders. Juncker was the first to benefit in 2014 from the spitzen candidate system, which was supported by the European Parliament but rejected by France in the negotiations, as he reiterated at a Helsinki press conference.
The choice of Ursula von der Leyen has yet to be validated by the European Parliament. Speaking of the Spitzen candidate system, Juncker expressed his regret at the outcome, saying that, “Unfortunately, it has not become a tradition,” … “I was the first and the last Spitzenkandidat.”