Today, Ursula von der Leyen is appearing at the CDU presidium – but as the current EU Commission President, not (yet) as the top candidate for the 2024 European elections. Nevertheless, there is a high probability von der Leyen will enter the ring again. On the one hand, because she is reportedly pushing for it; on the other, because her party, the CDU, would very likely support her, analyze Stefan Braun and Markus Grabitz.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez currently receives little support from his left-wing alliance. Instead, Yolanda Díaz wants to become the country’s first female prime minister in the parliamentary elections in December. However, a right-wing bloc is ahead in the polls, as Isabel Cuesta Camacho reports.
The meeting of G7 climate and environment ministers failed to make any significant progress on the global coal phase-out. Nor did it put a stop to new investments in gas infrastructure, despite the high expectations for the meeting in Sapporo, Japan. Environmentalists criticize the outcome. Read more in the news section.
The new agreement between Belgrade and Pristina could also mean little progress in the long term. Among other things, the time frame for implementation is missing. With the agreement, the EU has placed itself in the role of a power broker, writes Marina Vulović of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in her position paper. Success also depends on whether the EU and its partners can exert pressure to keep to the agreements.
Have a good start to the week.
Your Lukas Scheid
Von der Leyen and the CDU: a complex relationship
The CDU and Ursula von der Leyen have never been a love affair. The politician is too strict and self-confident, and many in her party find her too brisk and independent. That has not changed under Friedrich Merz. And yet it is clear that even the CDU under Merz would not be against it if von der Leyen would run again in the 2024 European elections.
When Ursula von der Leyenjoins theleadership of the CDU on Monday, it will be a meeting between a politician and a party leader who actually know each other very well and yet have remained quite strangers. They have put up with each other for almost two decades, benefited from, and yet rarely really warmed up to each other. On the one hand, there is von der Leyen, who is brisk, self-confident, and often independent to the point of disloyalty; on the other, there is the CDU, for whom some of von der Leyen’s policies have happened too quickly, and too idiosyncratically.
And yet, one question will not be at issue in the coming weeks and months: whether the CDU leadership around Friedrich Merz will support a top candidate Ursula von der Leyen and her possible second term as Commission President. Even if this relationship is not characterized by political love, it is supported by an overriding sense of reason. And that means: It is virtually impossible that her own party could stab her in the back if she runs for office.
Merz and von der Leyen share a will to shape the future
And not because CDU leader Friedrich Merz and Ursula von der Leyen are particularly close politically. Both come from very different places in the party, even if Merz always tries to appear modern – and von der Leyen leads a more conservative life on certain social issues than her image would suggest. But the two have one thing in common: they want to change politics and developments from the top, to sometimes stand in the storm, and fight for their own convictions. In this respect, they were and still are the antithesis of Angela Merkel.
Ursula von der Leyen
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