EU: what are von der Leyen's chances of re-election?

Ursula von der Leyen's European People's Party (EPP) remains the strongest group in the EU Parliament and, together with its previous social democratic and liberal partners, still has a majority despite considerable losses. But von der Leyen's confirmation for a second term as EU Commission President is by no means a mere formality, Europe's press stresses.

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Denník Postoj (SK) /

She has the best hand

The incumbent Commission president has good reason to be confident that she will be re-elected, Denník Postoj writes:

“The EPP, which includes her own CDU party, is the strongest group. There was a lot of talk about her resignation before the elections. French President Emmanuel Macron was rumoured to be eyeing the Italian Mario Draghi as the new head of the European Commission. However, Macron's hand is now weaker because the European elections in France are being interpreted as a fiasco for him.”

Jutarnji list (HR) /

It could be touch and go

Despite her EPP's self-declared election victory, von der Leyen's re-election is not a foregone conclusion, warns Jutarnji list:

“She still faces two major hurdles: the blessing of the European Council and the amen of the European Parliament. ... If France, Italy and Germany agree to support von der Leyen, there should be no major problems in the Council. But what is the situation in Parliament? Not ideal. Mathematically speaking, the ruling coalition may have 398 votes, but ten percent should be deducted from that: on average, that is how many MPs do not adhere to party or parliamentary group discipline due to internal ideological differences. And then von der Leyen would have a big problem.”

Aftonbladet (SE) /

No extremists, please

Even if von der Leyen needs every vote she can get she should choose her partners carefully, Aftonbladet insists:

“Von der Leyen obviously needs to secure support beyond the Christian Democrats, Social Democrats and Liberals. The question is which way she will turn. The Greens parliamentary group has shrunk from 71 to 52 seats. At the same time, the Eurosceptic right is becoming an increasingly important power player. Von der Leyen's choice will shape the rest of her term. The next few years will determine whether the EU meets its climate targets and how Ukraine fares. In this situation, extremists should not be relied upon.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Meloni at a crossroads

Corriere della Sera examines the choices Italy's prime minister faces:

“It's not just a question of either supporting von der Leyen - in other words joining the majority that will govern Europe at the risk of splitting the European Conservatives and Reformists group of which she is president - or maintaining the unity of the group and positioning the Italian government in the opposition. The real fork in the road is the choice between believing that Italy's problems - starting with immigration and the sustainability of its public debt - will be better tackled by going it alone or by working with Italy's European partners and the institutions in Brussels.”