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Von der Leyen’s candidacy seen as ‘a victory’

July 4th, 2019

Pro-government commentators describe the choice of German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen as the top candidate for European Commission President as a success for the V4 countries and PM Orbán personally.  A liberal analyst remarks that the original People’s Party Candidate, Manfred Weber is more conservative in his views than Ms von der Leyen.

In Magyar Hírlap, Mariann Őry welcomes the decision by the European Council to drop Frans Timmermans as the candidate for the post of President of the European Commission. The Dutch Socialist politician, she argues, has repeatedly warned Hungary and other countries that multiculturalism is a must and no border fences can prevent it from developing. She agrees with German Socialist MP Martin Schulz, who reportedly proposed Timmermans’ candidacy in the first place, that the decision to drop him was a victory for Mr Orbán. Őry doesn’t comment on Ms von der Leyen’s candidacy, nor does she even mention her by name in her coloumn.

In Magyar Nemzet, László Szőcs calls the deal reached at the EU summit a puzzle the pieces of which were successfully fitted into position. He also believes that the V4 countries, including Hungary, played a pivotal role in that success, although he finds it telling that the leading positions in the EU will be filled by German, French and Belgian personalities. He doubts therefore that the deal signals a new era in the European Union.

On Index, Balázs Márton remarks that Ms von der Leyen has represented far more liberal views than the original EPP candidate, Manfred Weber, whose nomination was strongly opposed by the Hungarian Prime Minister. She is an advocate of same sex marriage and of the right of same sex couples to adopt children, in addition to having been a supporter of the ‘Willkommenspolitik’ towards migrants in 2015. She is also a fervent promoter of a future United States of Europe. All in all, Márton cannot understand why PM Orbán thinks he has a lot to gain with Ms von der Leyen as President of the European Commission.

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