Von der Leyen cross-examined by MEPs

Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday made her pitch to the parliamentary groups of the Greens, the Liberals and the Social Democrats, whose backing she needs to be elected as the new EU Commission President. After her hearing, many MEPs criticised her answers to many of their questions for being short on specifics. In the end, the Greens decided to reject her bid. Does she still stand a chance of being elected?

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Daily Sabah (TR) /

This theater must come to an end

Von der Leyen's attempts to gain the MEPs support are just for show at this stage, Daily Sabah writes:

“Of course, these assembly groups are trying in every way to 'get some compromise' from her. In the end, they will elect von der Leyen. Level-headed Europeans do not have the luxury of 'dragging the EU into a chaos' by not electing von der Leyen. ... The 'package' which EU leaders have elected unanimously will be approved by European Parliament members, which were elected from the national lists that the same EU leaders designated as party presidents and 'hopefully' this theater will come to an end. The EU cannot waste any more time on this matter. The EU does not have the luxury of leaving the field to Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping.”

Club Z (BG) /

Social democrats will not take any risks

The social democrats can't afford to reject von der Leyen because they need the votes of the EVP in other ballots, Club Z concludes:

“The Parliament has already chosen the Italian social democrat David-Maria Sassoli as its president. If von der Leyen now fails, only two top jobs would be left that require the MEPs' approval - EU Commission President and EU Foreign Policy Representative. ... The parliamentary group of Socialists and Democrats has presented another candidate for a top post besides its candidate for president of the Parliament: the Spanish Socialist Josep Borell [running for the post of EU Foreign Policy Representative]. If it now torpedoes von der Leyen's election, it would also run a high risk of losing the post that is already waiting for Borrell.”

Jydske Vestkysten (DK) /

Von der Leyen can't be trusted

Jydske Vestkysten recalls the problems the German Bundeswehr had under von der Leyen's leadership but says this isn't the only thing that should stop her being elected:

“The conservative Ursula von der Leyen was a disaster as Germany's defence minister. Now it turns out that she can't be trusted. At any rate she seems to be distancing herself from the agreement that the centre-left politician Margrethe Vestager should become deputy Commission President. By doing so she is only making her own path towards the position of EU Commission President more difficult. ... [The problems of the Bundeswehr] do not paint a picture of a politician who is fit to lead the European Commission. But the way she has behaved towards Vestager should make von der Leyen's candidacy an impossibility.”