German Greens attach conditions to confirming von der Leyen as Commission president
tageszeitung (taz) / Clean Energy Wire
The German members of the Green group in the European Parliament (EP) said they would only support German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen’s (CDU) nomination as the new European Commission president if there were certain concessions, also on climate, write Ulrich Schulte and Eric Bonse in the tageszeitung (taz). “For us to say yes, we would need concessions on three levels: strengthening European democracy; Green policy, such as effective CO₂ pricing; and offices to be able to implement agreements,” Sven Giegold, Green member of the EP, told taz. A first meeting of leaders of the Greens with von der Leyen was “constructive,” German MEP Ska Keller – co-president of the Greens/European Free Alliance group – said in a statement. However, “we expect to see clear proposals on policies, such as a search and rescue mission in the Mediterranean Sea, a comprehensive rule of law framework and strict climate targets,” said Keller. The Green group has also invited von der Leyen to provide answers to its members. The date has yet to be decided.
With more than 70 members, the Greens are the fourth largest group in the European Parliament and could deliver important votes for von der Leyen. The German conservative politician from Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) was nominated by EU leaders to become the next Commission president, which came as a surprise to many political observers as she was not a lead candidate in the election campaign. Little is known about the incumbent German defence minister's climate credentials, but recent remarks suggest that she considers emission reduction a key issue for the EU.