If Ursula von der Leyen wants to be a Leading Candidate, she will first have to be a candidate in the EU elections
Politico has just reported that Ursula von der Leyen might become the Lead Candidate (Spitzenkandidat) of the European People's Party without presenting herself as a MEP candidate in the next European elections.
European Green co-presidents Mélanie Vogel and Thomas Waitz react: "If this confirms, it would be an unacceptable denial of European democracy. As Greens we are fighting for European citizens to have a say in who leads the European Union. But if the scenario described by Politico materialises, von der Leyen will be hiding from the citizens on the days of the European elections in June 2024.
The Greens are fighting since years to make Europe more democratic. We keep asking for transnational lists and we will field two European lead candidates (Spitzenkandidaten) at our Green Electoral Congress on 2-4 February in Lyon, France. In line with our feminist values, at least one of them will be a woman.
"For us Greens, transparency on the leading candidates is crucial to give citizens the democratic choice they deserve in EU elections. As a citizen, you have the right to know who your vote will put in power as the next President of the European Commission. Backroom horse-trading between Member States in the European Council for the EU's top job can no longer be tolerated."
"in 2019, von der Leyens designation as Commission's President undermined the leading candidate process (the EPP's Spitzenkandidat was Manfred Weber), now she is scolding voters. She has to stop hiding. If someone has no confidence themselves in being elected, then what claim can they make to represent the European Union and its 448 million citizens?", Waitz and Vogel conclude.