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Von Der Leyen To Seek Second Term As President-dpa


Germany's dpa reporting that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is set to seek a second term in office following the upcoming European Parliament elections in June. It was widely expected but not assured that VdL - hailing from the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU) that sits within the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) group - would seek a second five-year spell. Nominations for the EPP's lead candidate close on 21 Feb, making VdL's announcementa timely one. The EPP conference in Bucharest on 6-7 March will officialy nominate the group's lead candidate,.

  • The powerful CDU backing VdL for another term means she is likely to emerge as the lead candidate, despite rumours of Parliament President Roberta Metsola (Malta, PN) being in the running.
  • The EPP is on course to remain the largest single group within the EP after the elections. Being the largest group does provide an advantage in post election negotiations when it comes to securing the Commission presidency. However, it does not guarantee the role, and indeed does not guarantee the lead candidate gets the job.
  • In the 2019 EP elections, EPP group head Manfred Weber (Germany, CDU) was the lead candidate. However, his candidacy was unacceptable to the other major groups and so VdL emerged as a compromise candidate.
  • Moreover, in 2019 VdL had the backing of then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The German gov't now does not include the CDU, and Chancellor Olaf Scholz may not be so willing to put Berlin's weight behind a second VdL term.

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