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    Ursula von der Leyen wants a second term as head of the EU Commission

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    Ursula von der Leyen wants to become head of the EU Commission again, she said on Monday in Berlin. Criticism comes from the Greens.

    Ursula von der Leyen is seeking a second term as President of the European Commission. She explains her desire for re-election at the end of her first term. “In these five years, not only has my passion for Europe grown, but of course also my experience of how much this Europe can achieve for its people,” said the politician on Monday in Berlin after her nomination by the CDU.

    Von der Leyen recalled that five years ago she intuitively said yes when the question arose as to whether she could imagine becoming Commission President. Today, five years later, however, she is making “a very conscious and well-considered decision”. “I would like to apply for a second term,” she said.

    Von der Leyen cited the fight against the economic consequences of the corona pandemic and the promotion of investments in a clean and digital industry as a success of her first term in office. “We have geared Europe towards the future and the challenges of the future,” she said.

    EVP clearly ahead in surveys

    The EPP candidate for the top post is to be chosen at a party congress on March 7. It is considered certain that von der Leyen will receive the necessary majority of votes there. Possible opponents are not yet known.

    In addition to the German CDU and CSU, the European EVP party family includes, among others, the Austrian ÖVP, the Italian Forza Italia and Spain's conservative People's Party PP. In surveys, the EPP is clearly ahead in the European elections. There is therefore a good chance that von der Leyen can remain president.

    Party friends: Creating perspective for the economy

    The Thuringian CDU state leader Mario Voigt said before the meeting began that the next legislative session after the European elections in June would be very important for Europe. “Geopolitically we are incredibly challenged. Europe's competitiveness is at stake.” Therefore, it will be “about us getting back to the values ​​and traditions that have made Europe great.”

    That's why he will “work to ensure that the senseless ban on combustion engines is withdrawn. This damages the automotive industry and, above all, weakens Germany.” Von der Leyen steered Europe well through uncertain waters in difficult times.

    Deputy CDU chairman Andreas Jung calls for a “clean deal”

    Deputy CDU chairman Andreas Jung also said that the aim now was to create a perspective for the economy. “We need a clean deal for sustainable growth in Europe. We must bring climate protection and the economy together.” To achieve this, the CDU is relying on clean technologies instead of dirigistic rules.

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    Regarding the withdrawal of the combustion engine ban at EU level, Jung said: “We agree with Ursula von der Leyen that the CO2 balance is what matters.” At a meeting with the CDU presidium on Sunday evening, von der Leyen made it clear “that it is also her path that we support. That the CO2 balance is what matters.” An electric car is climate-friendly if it is powered by renewable energy, said Jung. But this can also be done with so-called e-fuels. “That is on the table in Europe. Ursula von der Leyen supports it. It depends on the CO2 that comes out.” Climate protection must be approached in a technology-neutral manner.

    Greens: von der Leyen reduces the lead candidate principle to absurdity

    Criticism, however, came from the Greens. They sharply criticised the fact that Ursula von der Leyen wants a second term as EU Commission President but is not running in the European elections. It is irritating that von der Leyen will not be found anywhere on the ballot paper, said the delegation spokesman of the German Greens in the European Parliament, Rasmus Andresen. You can read more about the reactions to von der Leyen's candidacy here.

    Von der Leyen did not run for office in 2019

    Von der Leyen had already become Commission President in 2019 without previously running in the European elections. At that time, however, she was not even the EPP's top candidate for the presidency of the Commission. The CSU politician Manfred Weber held this position at the time. Ultimately, however, he was unable to get a majority of the heads of state and government in the European Council to support his election. The latter then nominated von der Leyen.

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