New EC Chief Ursula von der Leyen: A Disappointment Already or the First to Make Sense? (written for The European Views*)

Ursula von der Leyen’s rise to arguably the EU’s top job has come as a surprising and illogical development. Photo: (Banner image: Ursula von der Leyen on Twitter)
(*This opinion / analytical article was written by Ivan Dikov for The European Views website.)

The next President of the European Commission could outplay the unpleasant Eastern European and Italian leaders who voted her into office. And she really should.

Ursula von der Leyen, Germany’s former Defense Minister, a career politician, and a mother of seven, has recently been confirmed as the next President of the European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, the only supranational government of the only supranational union of their kinds.

Her surprising election, or selection, may or may not be deemed discredited by the backstage haggling of the state leaders of EU member states.

Or by the very narrow majority in the European Parliament with which she was confirmed as the next President of the European Commission: 383 votes in favor, with 374 needed (out of a total of 747 MEPs).

Why the EU state leaders of 2019, who make up the top-level European Council by default, thought it was a good idea to pick that candidate the way they did it will probably remain a thorny issue in European history.

But Ursula von der Leyen’s election as head of the EC is now a done deal, and she could be as good an EC President as any.

If Von der Leyen’s first media interview as European Commission President-elect is any indication… she could prove to be either.

Either a disappointment from the start, or the first chief of the EU executive to finally make sense.

Of the most important of issues and challenges facing the EU: namely, the further integration of Eastern Europe, the Eastern European former communist member states which already have been EU members for a while. To remind of that, I just dedicated an entire additional essay as to why the “Eastern Europe Question” matters for the EU and Western Europe more than anything else.

These uncertainties and doubts projected from Ursula von der Leyen’s first interview are a direct reflection of the intricacies of her election: against the backdrop of a declining plurality for the largest mainstream political party families as a result of the 2019 EU elections and the lack of a clear-cut consensus among the leaders of the largest EU member states, with the crucial support of some nasty state leaders from Eastern Europe who defy Western-style political correctness to utter certain truths about the Union but only to use them to mask or justify their abuses.

Read the rest of this article on The European Views website here

(391 words cited out of a total of 2,138 words)


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