EU: No Confirmation for Von Der Leyen’s at First Summit

In any case, the German politician remains the favorite for the role of European Commission President

Those who thought von der Leyen would be quickly confirmed for the second term turned out wrong. The EU Heads of State and Government dinner was organized for the first informal discussion on the distribution of leadership positions in the Union since the June 6-9 European elections. Its participants failed to reach an agreement, although the outgoing European Commission president appears to be in a winning position to take up this key EU post for the second term.

Indeed, von der Leyen remains at the moment the only viable candidate to succeed herself. The majority in the European Parliament in favor of her is made up of the factions of the Populists, Socialists, and Liberals, who already have significant majorities. It could be expanded by the Greens, on the one hand, and the Conservatives and Reformists, on the other. This should allow them to strengthen consensus and protect against “free shooters” – MPs who do not observe party discipline when voting. However, mutual blocking may occur, making such expansion of support a risky step. But the populists don’t seem to be afraid, if we are to believe outgoing European Council President Charles Michel.

“We have listened to the President of the European Parliament (Roberta Metsola – ed.), as well as Ursula von der Leyen, who shared some ideas about the future of the EU,” Michel said. “Then we had dinner. It was a good opportunity to exchange views and prepare for next week’s European Council session in Brussels. I think the discussion is going in the right direction, but for now, there is no agreement tonight.” At this stage, it is necessary to define not only the main candidates for leadership positions in the European institutions, but also the EU’s strategic line. “I think we have to make decisions together in June, the 27 leaders have to work hard to reach an agreement,” Michel concluded. The decision was postponed until next week, and at the dinner “each participant was able to listen to the others.”

The favorites remain: German from the European People’s Party Ursula von der Leyen for the presidency of the European Commission, Portuguese socialist António Costa for the presidency of the European Council, Estonian liberal Kaja Kallas for the post of High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, and Maltese Roberta Metsola for the presidency of the European Parliament.