Ursula von der Leyen is seeking a new term as head of the European Commission

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen officially announced this Monday that she was a candidate to succeed him after the June elections. She was nominated by the leadership of her party, the German CDU, before confirmation in March by European conservatives.

Ursula von der Leyen formalized her candidacy for a new mandate at the head of the European Commission, in Berlin, February 19, 2024. REUTERS - LIESA JOHANNSSEN

By: RFI Follow


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With our office in Brussels,

Unusually, collaborators of the CDU, the German conservative party, applaud fervently when

Ursula von der Leyen

prepares to give her press conference alongside the president of the German Christian Democratic party. The governing bodies of the CDU have just unanimously supported the candidacy of Ursula von der Leyen. “

We must continue to defend ourselves against those who divide us from within and without, we must strengthen ourselves [...] this is the task that I have set for myself

,” she said in front of the press. The leader of the German right, Friedrich Merz, hopes that at the beginning of March the European People's Party will also be united behind the outgoing president of the European Commission.

Ursula von der Leyen announced this Monday, February 19 without surprise that she is ready to serve a second five-year term and draws a positive assessment of the last five years, despite the Covid pandemic and its economic consequences, the invasion of Ukraine and a major energy crisis. “

The world today is completely different from that of 2019. We have had to overcome many challenges together during these five years and I believe we have achieved more than we could have imagined. What is decisive is that we have prepared Europe for the future

,” she said. 

An uncertain new mandate

For the upcoming electoral campaign and beyond, Ursula von der Leyen wants to put the defense of democracy and the European model at the center of her action against her opponents. The President of the Commission cites Putin by name but also right-wing populists such as the AfD, the German far-right party or the National Rally (RN). 

Ursula von der Leyen enjoys the support of the left-wing coalition in power in Berlin and France. The European People's Party, the conservative movement of which she is a member, is expected to come out on top in the June election. But his election by the European Parliament, already difficult five years ago, could once again prove complicated.  


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