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EU Parliament: vote on Commission’s Presidency, EPP supporting von der Leyen; Leftists and Greens opposing her; S&D, Renew Europe, ID and ECR await (further) clarification on political priorities

(Brussels) Over the past few days, EP political groups have held meetings with EU Commission president nominee Ursula von der Leyen, but only the European People’s Party (EPP) has announced that it will support her candidacy at a press conference today. For the S&D and Renew Europe, the meetings were not entirely satisfactory, and in order to decide their voting line, they now expect Ms von der Leyen to provide further clarification on some political issues in response to the letters that each group has sent her. Even Identity and Democracy (ID) and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) have not yet announced whether they will back her. The voting positions will be decided following Ms von der Leyen’s statement in the European Parliament on Tuesday. The Greens, by contrast, have already announced that they will not back her. They expressed disappointment at the meetings and the process, because the candidate “does not bring the change that people want”. They hope that “other groups will join them and vote against” her candidacy. The Left (GUE/NGL) Group has also announced it will vote against her. Ursula von der Leyen needs at least 374 votes from 747 MEPs. Meanwhile there is “great dissatisfaction” among ID and ECR MEPs over the failure of political groups in the European Parliament to follow the rules governing the distribution of the EU’s top jobs. In particular, Philip Claeys, spokesperson for the ID group, said at a press conference that the ID Group is not represented in the Bureau of the European Parliament; discrimination also occurred in the selection process of the presidents and vice-presidents of the parliamentary committees, something which was also denounced by the ECR spokesperson.

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