Monday, June 17, 2024

Juncker’s advice to von der Leyen: You don’t need Meloni to keep your job

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Von der Leyen — who is the lead candidate for the center-right European People’s Party (EPP) — finished Sunday’s vote count sitting on a thin majority.

She needs 361 MEPs to approve her for a second term in charge of the Commission; and the coalition of centrist groups that elected her last time — her own EPP, the center-left Socialists & Democrats (S&D) and the liberal Renew — won almost 400 seats.

If she can’t get enough votes from the three largest groups to go through, she may have to seek support from the Greens or cozy up to Italian Prime Minister Meloni’s hard-right party, or do both and hope everyone decides they’d rather deal with her than the alternatives.

“I am reassured by the fact that there is still a pro-European majority in the European Parliament with centrist forces, but I remain worried and distressed by the rise of the far right,” said Juncker, who ran the Commission from 2014 until 2019.

He added: “This is a well-established phenomenon, but it represents a danger for the European Union as it jeopardizes the spirit of solidarity that should characterize EU action.”

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