It took a long time, a very long time – but now the wait is coming to an end. The traffic light parties, the AfD, the Left and even the new BSW have already nominated their top candidates for the European elections. But the CDU has so far been a long time coming. Of all people, the CDU, where the decision should be particularly easy. The President of the EU Commission is the Christian Democrat Ursula von der Leyen. With this office behind her, she is a natural candidate for the top candidacy – right?
In just over two weeks the uncertainty should be over. On February 19th, von der Leyen will come to Berlin and take part in the meetings of the CDU's presidium and board. A party spokeswoman has now said this South German newspaper confirmed. The CDU does not want to confirm that von der Leyen will then be chosen. However, it is certain that the party committees will proclaim the head of the EU Commission as their top candidate on this day. At the same time, the CDU board is likely to propose von der Leyen as the top candidate of the European People's Party (EPP).
Such a vote from an EPP member party is necessary so that von der Leyen can also become the pan-European top candidate. An EPP congress in Bucharest will then decide on this at the beginning of March. His approval of von der Leyen is also considered certain.
The candidate herself has not yet declared herself
Friedrich Merz and Ursula von der Leyen come from different corners of the CDU. Von der Leyen stands for many things that Merz has opposed for years. But the traffic light coalition has agreed in its coalition agreement that the Greens can propose the next German EU Commissioner “as long as the Commission President is not from Germany.” It is already clear that the CDU's only chance of becoming a member of the next EU Commission is von der Leyen. This is also why Merz declared at a CDU federal executive board meeting a year ago that if von der Leyen wanted to run as the EPP's top candidate, she would certainly receive the CDU's support. A party spokesman then also said: “It is initially up to Ms von der Leyen to decide whether she will be available again as President of the European Commission.”
And that has been exactly the problem so far: Von der Leyen has failed to answer this question. Clearly she wanted to delay the decision for as long as possible. In order not to burden her office – as the top candidate of a party you are quickly accused of partiality. And in order to be able to determine as precisely as possible how great the chance of being re-elected to the top of the Commission is.
At the beginning of January, von der Leyen attended the retreat of the CSU members of the Bundestag in Seeon Monastery. At that time too, she avoided the question of the top candidate. She simply said: “The support of the CSU is something I always promote.” But the top candidate “will not be the issue today.” On February 19th it will finally become an issue.