According to party sources interviewed by the Lusa agency, Ursula von der Leyen announced that she wanted to be a candidate for ‘Spitzenkandidat’ to lead the European Commission for another five-year term.

The same sources stated that the announcement was made by the leader of the community executive at a meeting in Berlin of the German party Christian Democratic Union (CDU), to which the person responsible belongs, to then be its main candidate for the elections for the European Parliament, scheduled for the 6th to the 9th of June 2024.

Sources close to Ursula von der Leyen had previously told Lusa that this announcement would be made close to the end of the deadline for applications for the position of ‘Spitzenkandidat’ of the PPE, which ends next Wednesday.

Precisely on Wednesday, the date on which this deadline ends, the EPP will hold a group meeting at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels to make the appointment official and, at the end, the president of this European party, Manfred Weber, and Ursula von der Leyen will speak to the press.

After being officially named ‘Spitzenkandidat’ of the EPP, Ursula von der Leyen is expected to be confirmed as head of the list at the political group’s summit, scheduled for March 6th and 7th, in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

Among the employees closest to the leader of the community executive, the perception is that Ursula von der Leyen “is not yet tired”, according to reports to Lusa, even after this term at the head of the institution has dealt with crises related to the pandemic of covid-19, the war in Ukraine caused by the Russian invasion and the rekindling of the climate of conflict in the Middle East region, following the attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas on Israel.

The management of this last war, however, aroused several criticisms in the community due to Ursula von der Leyen’s support for Tel Aviv and an initial cut of funds to Palestine.

As the first woman president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen was approved by the European Parliament in November 2019, with 461 votes in favor, 157 against and 89 abstentions, in a decision that was taken by an absolute majority (half of the MEPs in office another).

Currently, the European Parliament is made up of seven political groups, the EPP being the largest of them, followed by the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), the group of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

In mid-January, the PES announced that the current Luxembourgish European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, was the sole candidate for the political family’s ‘Spitzenkandidat’ in the June European elections.

Schmit, the first ‘Spitzenkandidat’ to officially enter the ‘race’, was presented by the Luxembourg socialists of the LSAP and has the support of all the parties that make up this European family, and should be endorsed at the PES congress, scheduled for the 1st and 2nd of March in Rome.

The figure of main candidates — in the German term ‘Spitzenkandidat’ — emerged in the 2014 European elections, with the largest European parties presenting their choices for future president of the European Commission.

Then, in 2019, an attempt was made to apply this model again, but due to disagreement between political groups, these main candidates did not occupy high European positions.

Ursula von der Leyen was not the EPP’s ‘Spitzenkandidat’ in 2019.

Read Also: Von der Leyen advances to PPE’s ‘Spitzenkandidat’ on Monday


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