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December 10, 2023
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International News

Manfred Weber and the Spitzenkandidat principle

Manfred Weber is the candidate for the presidency of the European Commission of the most important political group from the European Parliament, EPP (European People’s Party), which gathers all the parties with conservative and liberal-conservative doctrines. At the last May European elections, EPP obtained 182 mandates, having a 24,23% of the total of 751 seats in the European Parliament, which made this political group the most important one. Yet, they got less mandates than hoping for,as in the former legislature EPP had 216 seats.Meanwhile, the socialists and democrats, the second European political group in the European Parliament (S&D) obtained 154 mandates, also less than what they have got in the previous legislature, when they had 185 Up to these elections there was something more of a habit – the candidate of the biggest group in the EP, such as EPP, was appointed the European Council’s candidate for the presidency of the European Commission and he was voted by the Parliament. It was not a written rule, but a custom law, so to speak, and it was recently followed.This time, though, even if Manfred Weber acted like the future president of the European Commission for the last 6 months or so, Emmanuel Macron,the president of France, and his political group, Renew Europe, which was the surprise at these elections with 108 seats, are decided not to follow this unwritten rule. Renew Europe is led by the Romanian MP Dacian Ciolos, whose Alliance obtained during the Romanian elections 8 seats, an incredible result.This news surely upset Manfred Weber, who stated that by not following this rule, there is an attack committed to the values of democracy in Europe. Also, he asked the MEPs not to let the appointing of the future president in the hands of some ”back doors diplomats”.

Is Manfred Weber right when he wants for the Spitzenkandidat principle to be applied?

By applying this principle, Manfred Weber wants to be appointed, after being voted, as the president of the European Commission, as the former presidents.

Manfred Weber is being introduced by the European officials as the future president of the European Commission. Manfred Weber has probably created alliances and concluded deals based on this assumption and now Mafred Weber has to first pass the negotiations in the European Council and after that to pass the vote in the EP. Is the Spitzenkandidat principle a democratic one? We’d say it’s more of a habit and not a principle. The Lisbon Treaty stipulates that the members of the European Council have to “take into account” the result of the election when proposing a candidate as the future president of the European Commission, but this doesn’t mean anything, from the legal point of view as to appoint the candidate of the most numerous political group from the European Parliament.In a real democracy, the members of the Council decide without being influenced by any habits, and the MEPs openly vote the future president of the European Commission.Anyway, the negotiations are still tough and on going. Manfred Weber accuses there are attacks being conducted at democracy, but it is clear that his chances in becoming the future president of the European Commission has diminished considerably.For certain, there is a political game between France and Germany and Germany has to confront not only a difficult opponent, but also the critics from those who disapprove of its European policies and of the way Germany led European Union so far, by blocking initiatives instead of building the future of Europe.

Source of the photo: politico.eu

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