The decision of the EU Council to nominate the German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen for the Commission Presidency has had the effect of a bomb. It reveals serious shortcomings.
- In Berlin, the SPD opposed the initiative of Chancellor Angela Merkel – Merkel therefore had to abstain in Brussels. An absurd process that shocks the GroKo.
- Social Democrats and Greens are rehearsing the uprising in Strasbourg. They speak of betrayal and an attack on democracy – and could vote against the VdL in two weeks’ time.
- If this were to happen, the CDU politician could only be elected with the help of liberals and right-wing conservatives. Already at the summit Merkel relied on the right-wing Visegrad states!
This shows that the wrong method was chosen here. The European Council tried to outdo the European Parliament – just one month after the European elections!
It would have been right to wait for the constituent session of the Parliament and ask the newly elected Members to nominate a successor for Jean-Claude Juncker themselves.
Then the top candidates would have had their chance, Parliament would have had to vote. If Manfred Weber and Frans Timmermans had failed, the Council would still have been able to decide on its own.
Even the now highly praised women’s election is inadequate. It is indeed a step forward that a woman is finally leading the EU Commission. “Europe is a woman,” said Council President Donald Tusk.
But why didn’t they give Margrethe Vestager a try? It would certainly have been a better choice. But Vestager would have meant trouble with the USA.
You can’t say that about VdL, on the contrary: with their nomination, the EU leaders want to appease the Americans and calm the Eastern Europeans…
Overall, the outcome of the personnel poker reveals serious shortcomings in the EU. Democracy continues to play only a minor role, despite the lip service paid before the European elections.
The implementation of democracy and the rule of law is now regarded as a flaw (as the successful resistance of the Visegrad states against Timmermans has shown).
Staff policy is also a disaster. It is unpredictable and follows the logic of deals and coups. In the end, those who cheekiest gamble and approach Merkel prevail.
Welcome to the German EUrope – this time with a female face…