Von der Leyen is traveling to an almost guaranteed second term in the Commission

Von der Leyen is traveling to an almost guaranteed second term in the Commission

The phrase “Europe is my home” with which Ursula von der Leyen yesterday officially announced her candidacy as leader of the German Conservatives in the upcoming European elections and, consequently, her intention to achieve a second term as President of the European Commission (EC) was almost a no-brainer. The official designation of his party, the Christian Democratic Union, was also not surprising, as it had been expected for weeks, both in the German media and in Brussels, that this would happen. Von der Leyen herself had no objection to commenting, last weekend at the Munich Security Conference, that if elected for a second term she would propose creating the position of European Defense Commissioner.

Reject the extreme right

Everything was ready for his appointment, and it was very unlikely that he would not achieve his goal. It enjoys the support not only of the Christian Democratic Union, but also of its sister party, the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU), the party of the patron of the European peoples, Manfred Weber. It is assumed that he will receive close support from the European People's Party at the conference of this European political family, which will be held next March. All opinion polls also indicate that the Conservatives will be the winners of the European elections next June.

Nothing could go wrong with the agenda set by von der Leyen. His candidacy also means recognition at the national level for the CDU/CSU, the conservative German bloc, the first formation in the intention of voting at the national level. They received about 30% of the vote, more than 10 points above their rivals, the far-right Alternative for Germany party, and up to 15 points ahead of Chancellor Olaf Scholz's Social Democrats. Unlike other European parties in the European People's Party, the German conservative bloc still adheres to the line it set in the time of Angela Merkel of rejecting any cooperation with the far right.

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More investment in security

Von der Leyen's move in favor of providing the European Commission with a Defense Commissioner fits into the consensus expressed at the Munich Security Conference about the need for Europe to invest more in its security, to take charge of – rather than rely on – its transatlantic partner. And the United States – as well as maintaining or even increasing support for Ukraine.

The rhetoric surrounding European rearmament is not new. But this phrase had to ring in the ears of the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Policy, Josep Borrell, who considered in another intervention at the Munich Forum that the Community bloc has “the necessary tools” that must be taken seriously by simply defending.

This is not the first meeting between conservative von der Leyen and socialist Borrell, who recently criticized the European Commission president for trying to set guidelines in foreign affairs. This was in the wake of the rapid impact of German policy in favor of Israel in the war on Gaza. It is a position that fits with his country's line of “unconditional solidarity” towards Israel, but not Borrell's position.

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