“What was the point of all this?” German critics call for the appointment of Federal Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the EU’s top position of Commission President.
Their choice is viewed as a backroom deal – something that should prevent the new, more personal elections. There is little patriotic enthusiasm in Germany that could become a German EU Commission President for the first time in 50 years. Ironically, Ms. von der Leyen has more support outside her home country than inside.
Abroad, she is considered a multi-lingual, pro-European political heavyweight who has led three key ministries in the EU’s largest country, setting a record for tough Europe-wide defense projects. Within Germany, however, their reputation is rather clouded.
Once seen as successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel, she fought as the head of the Department of Defense. It’s a position known in Germany as a career killer, so anything but a complete failure is a kind of success.
However, it was damaged by a series of almost scary fiascoes about useless devices and an investigation into a procurement scandal and the possible illegitimate use of outside advisors.
Former Italian journalist David-Maria Sassoli was elected as the new President of the European Parliament. The 63-year-old Sassoli received the support of 345 out of a total of 667 MEPs in Strasbourg’s second round. The center-left politician struck three more candidates and will immediately assume the role of the assembly spokesman.