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Ursula von der Leyen is in an increasingly difficult position

Ursula von der Leyen is in an increasingly difficult position

According to Jakob Morosa Rasmussen, former Secretary-General of the European liberal party ALDE, von der Leyen's chances of re-election are diminished by simple calculations. Five years ago, he was elected President of the European Commission by just 9 votes, but his circle of supporters has now shrunk even further. The sudden decision taken by Czech populist Andrej Babis to withdraw seven members of the European Parliament from the Renewal Party weakened his position in the European Parliament.

Von der Leyen and the EPP have so far only held talks with the Socialists, Democrats and Renewal Party, ignoring the Greens and the European Commission. Von der Leyen will need 361 votes in parliament to secure re-election.

With the addition of the EPP, Socialists, Democrats and Renewal MPs, von der Leyen will receive 398 votes, but not all the EPP, Socialists and Democrats will support her, and the Renewal Party will lose members one by one. According to Simon Hicks, professor of comparative political science at the European University Institute in Florence, the EPP could be seen as key to securing von der Leyen's re-election, but it will be very difficult for them to form a stable majority.

If EU leaders feel that von der Leyen will not make it to Parliament, they could buy time by appointing her, but pushing the MEPs' vote from July to September. But the Socialists warned that their support would not be guaranteed if von der Leyen struck a deal with the European Council or other forces to the right of the EPP.

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As the majority shrank, the Greens increasingly made clear that they wanted to join coalition negotiations. However, even the Green Party's roughly 50 seats may not be enough to give von der Leyen a majority, and if she opens up to them, she will likely lose support within her faction in the People's Party.

Due to the weakness of the centrist parties, the negotiating position of Giorgia Meloni, leader of the European Council, was strengthened. People familiar with the negotiations told Politico there would be confusion, but no other names were on the table.

Cover image source: European Union

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