Ursula von der Leyen suffers a brand new affront | EUROtoday

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EYet one other unhealthy story for Ursula von der Leyen, whose electoral marketing campaign for a second time period is off to a foul begin. After the American Scott Morton, who had given up the publish of chief economist of the Commission, Markus Pieper indicated, Monday night, April 15, that he wouldn’t take up his duties as particular envoy for SMEs. In each circumstances, these are problematic appointments wished by Ursula von der Leyen. In each circumstances, the President of the Commission sparked an issue by committing an error of evaluation.

She couldn’t appoint an American citizen to a place as delicate as that of chief economist of the DG Competition, simply as she can’t select a German deputy from her political household (the CDU) lower than two months earlier than the European elections, despite the fact that he was not the perfect rated and towards the recommendation of Thierry Breton, the supervisory commissioner. Markus Pieper, EPP (European Conservatives) MEP, understood that this forceful transfer would do him nothing. He offers up. The Commission presidency specifies that the place won’t be crammed earlier than the European elections.

“Small engine”

This suspicion of favoritism earned him a damaging vote from the European Parliament final Thursday. In truth, 382 elected officers known as for the annulment of this resolution. Ursula von der Leyen took refuge behind the “management autonomy” of the Commission so as to not comply.

But was it actually prudent to problem a Parliament that she’s going to want in a number of months to verify her in her function as president? We won’t ever know if Markus Pieper actually gave up on his personal or if broader political issues, within the EPP, and even on the aspect of the CSU in Berlin, gained out.

READ ALSO From Qatargate to the Zdanoka affair: a European Parliament below international influencesIn the Scott Morton affair as within the Pieper affair, Ursula von der Leyen got here throughout a bone: Thierry Breton. The French commissioner has now not hidden, for months, that he hardly appreciates this German president. “A small engine” is the phrase that circulates among the many Breton boys to explain von der Leyen.

After the Bucharest congress of the EPP, the place von der Leyen was dubbed “Spitzenkandidat” (head of the European checklist), the previous boss of Atos was the creator of a scathing tweet contemplating the low rating obtained by this candidate with out rival (400 votes out of 801 delegates). “Is it possible to (re)entrust the management of Europe to the EPP for five more years, or twenty-five years in a row? » he asked himself before answering: “The EPP itself does not seem to believe in its candidate. »

A Way of the Cross

“Each time, it is she who sets a trap for herself,” we word throughout the Commission. Nobody pressured her to decide on Pieper two months earlier than the Europeans. It's like within the affair of the deleted SMS, if she had not boasted in an American newspaper of getting herself negotiated the Pfizer vaccines by textual content message, nobody would have considered asking her to publish it. »

In truth, a broad entrance has opened since then. Ursula von der Leyen assures that the textual content messages have been deleted and that they don’t comprise info of a political nature. THE New York Times took authorized motion towards the Commission. The European Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly, reported “administrative mismanagement”.

A Belgian lobbyist additionally took the matter to European justice. Viktor Orban's Hungary recordsdata a grievance. And now the European Public Prosecutor's Office (EPPO) can be opening an investigation for “interference in public functions, destruction of SMS, corruption and conflict of interest”.

“Plans B” are whispered behind the scenes

“A few months ago, given the context with the war in Ukraine, we thought that von der Leyen would be re-elected as head of the Commission without any problem. Today, it is less certain,” confides a Brussels diplomat. The EPP claims that it has no plan B, however that is false.

Names are beginning to flow into amongst conservative leaders. Some point out the Croatian Andrej Plenkovic, others, the Greek Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Both are Prime Ministers, each have the benefit of talking French. But you don't should scratch very onerous to return throughout shady enterprise at each of them…

READ ALSO Europeans: why the LRs don’t assist Ursula von der LeyenObjectively, something that weakens Ursula von der Leyen between now and the European election shall be used as leverage in negotiations between leaders within the Council, the day after the European elections. The much less robust the German's place is, the extra different international locations, corresponding to France and Italy or Spain, will discover room to impose programmatic selections on her for the following 5 years and positions. The nice goose sport of “top jobs” has begun… And for Ursula von der Leyen, it is going to be a path of the cross.