The president of the liberal group Renew Europe, Dacian Ciolos, confirmed on 11 July that his group’s MEPs vote is not to be taken for granted in support of Ursula von der Leyen after the group earlier faced off with von der Leyen in a closed doors session.

In a statement to the press after the group meeting, Ciolos stated the debate was “very positive” but added that he “still” does not guarantee a favourable vote from the entire group, reiterating that his group will strongly advocate for the vote to take place in next week’s plenary session, once the group receives needed “clear commitments” on a series of issues.

Aiming to focus on the idea of transnational lists and “democratise the vote in the European Parliament,” Ciolos’ intention is to propose the debate in order to have a legislative proposal.
Regarding the next Commission’s commitment for rule of law, Ciolos asked for a European mechanism concerning all EU member states that will be accompanied by sanctions. This would allow the EU to “avoid using the nuclear mechanism of Article 7” on the rule of law.
Ciolos asked von der Leyen to ensure the group that its Spitzenkandidat Margrethe Vestager will be equal to the First Vice-President of the European Commission with Socialist Spitzenkandidat, Frans Timmermans.
“We are very clear and we are still waiting for clear commitment to take on board that inside the Commission we will have two main First Vice Presidents,” he added.  Asking for “a very clear commitment next week in the parliament.”