Ursula is going to be dumped


Ursula von der Leyen

The completed elections to the European Parliament reflected a new reality in which the voice of Euroskeptics is significantly strengthening

The elections to the European Parliament of the tenth convocation have passed in Europe. They began with voting on June 6 in the Netherlands, and ended on June 9, when the voters of most EU countries, including Germany, came to the ballot boxes. There are 373 million people eligible to vote in the 27 EU countries. This is the second largest democratic election in the world (after India). The list of new servants of the people appeared promptly — on Sunday at 23:00 Central European time. A total of 720 mandates were in play, 15 more than five years ago.

Now the most interesting thing is to come: most of the deputies will begin to spread out into factions of pan-European parties, and the smaller part will go to the world of legislative initiatives autonomously, as proud loners.

Let me remind you that in the last five years Strasbourg was dominated by an unofficial grand coalition of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals. With the results of the finished elections, the situation has changed. The Conservatives and Social Democrats remained roughly in the same positions. But the Liberals and the Greens will have to put up with the loss of mandates.

Now about the numbers. According to preliminary results, the European People’s Party (EPP) once again won a soft victory. It can count on 189 seats (+13). The Social Democrats came in second, but deflated slightly with 135 seats (-4). The Liberals and the Greens failed, with 83 seats (-19) and 53 (-19) respectively. A significant number of non-fractional deputies — 95. The breakdown is still approximate and will be adjusted. The turnout was again low — 51% (+0.34%).

French President Emmanuel Macron was the most upset. His «Renaissance» received only 15 and a little percent (-7%). But 32% of voters voted for the party of Marine Le Pen (2.5 times more than five years ago). The master of the Elysee Palace announced the dissolution of parliament and early elections, which will be held soon: the first round — June 30, the second — July 7.

The main breakthrough: the right-wing Euroskeptic parties have significantly

increased their representation (18% of the total number of deputies). Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and her Brothers of Italy party, which in the previous convocation was part of the European Conservatives and Reformists faction, announced their desire to take relative control and organizationally formalize a political force that is growing stronger right before our eyes. She has experience governing her country at the head of a coalition made up of Christian Democrats, populists and the far right.

«For the first time, the results of this last election can put an end to an unnatural and counterproductive majority in the European Parliament. We must remain focused and stand firm. Let’s look to the future», said the bold and determined Italian.

Together with supporters of French right-wing populist Marine Le Pen, Hungarian nationalist-patriot Viktor Orban, Polish PiS leader Lech Kaczynski and representatives of Eurosceptic parties from Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Belgium, Austria, she wants to form a new large right-wing-nationalist faction. The task is difficult, but theoretically feasible.

For reference, until now there have been two factions on the right wing in the European Parliament — «European Conservatives and Reformists» and «Identity and Democracy».

New winds in the European Parliament may well overturn the plans of the ambitious and authoritarian German Ursula von der Leyen to be re-elected as head of the European Commission. The “Brussels Fury” was nominated as a candidate by the EPP at its congress held in March in Bucharest. Remember the outcome: she was supported by only 400 delegates out of 801, 312 abstained and 89 were against. That is, in truth, she passed by on a thin line.

Now as for the further procedure of appointment of the chief of the European government. Ursula must first be approved by the Council of Europe, which includes the heads of all 27 EU countries. And then, in order to make her able to head the highest body of executive power, she needs to get the approval of the majority of deputies (minimum 361 votes) in the European Parliament. So far, the maximum she (purely theoretically) can count on is 351.

The wily Ursula has already said that she does not rule out cooperation with parliamentarians from the faction that Meloni will try to build.

«She (Meloni) is clearly pro-European. She’s against Putin, she said it very clearly. And she is in favor of the rule of law. If this continues to be the case, we will offer cooperation», the acting head of the European Commission said.

However, she was immediately chilled by Chancellor Olaf Scholz. He specified that Berlin would support Frau Von’s candidacy provided that her center-right EPP could create a stable majority in the new European Parliament without the support of the far-right.

«The Commission President must always be based on the democratic parties of Europe, on a platform that includes Social Democrats, conservatives and liberals», Scholz added.

Weaving intrigues against Ursula and the current head of the European Council Charles Michel (who is higher in the vertical of executive power, by the way, than the German). He has long believed that von der Leyen has not rightfully taken all the power, turning (in fact) into the “empress of all Europe». Michelle has direct contacts with all EU leaders by virtue of his position. Politico’s sources believe that the Belgian, seeking to rule out Ursula’s reappointment, will resort to a strategy of individual conversations with them on this topic. It is known, for example, that in Paris there is some dissatisfaction with the management style practiced by von der Leyen.

«It drives everyone crazy because his game is so obvious — to make von der Leyen stumble. At the same time, he himself dreams of taking another high post», one of the interlocutors told Politico on condition of anonymity.

There are rumors that Michel wants to take the post of EU high representative for foreign and security policy in the new European Commission, replacing Josep Borrell. So it is in his interests to have a less powerful leader in the future.