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EU leaders back another von der Leyen term – media

Estonia’s Kaja Kallas will reportedly take over foreign relations from Josep Borrell

Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen will get a second term as head of the European Commission, multiple outlets have reported citing anonymous sources in Brussels.

According to a deal between the three main blocs in the European Parliament, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas will become the new foreign policy commissioner, replacing Spain’s Josep Borrell, while former Portuguese PM Antonio Costa will preside over the European Council, previously chaired by Belgium’s Charles Michel.

Six national leaders representing the three blocs reached the agreement in a video conference on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Polish PM Donald Tusk and Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis took part for the European People’s Party (EPP), German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez spoke on behalf of the Socialists & Democrats (S&D), and French President Emmanuel Macron and caretaker Dutch PM Mark Rutte spoke for Renew Europe.

Euronews described the process as “a horse-trading game to ensure a political, geographical and gender balance.”

While the three factions have enough votes to get the arrangement approved in the European Council, some leaders of EU member states have criticized it publicly.

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Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Von der Leyen must go – EU state leader

“The deal that the EPP made with the leftists and the liberals runs against everything that the EU was based on,” Hungarian PM Viktor Orban posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday. “Instead of inclusion, it sows the seeds of division. EU top officials should represent every member state, not just leftists and liberals!”

According to Orban, the deal ignores the will of the people as shown in the recent elections for the European Parliament, in which the Socialists and the Liberals both lost ground. Instead of listening to the voters, the EPP made a deal with the losing parties, in order to “continue to support migration and send even more money and weapons to the Russia-Ukraine war,” Orban said last week.

Italian PM Giorgia Meloni has also voiced displeasure with EPP dealings, but diplomats have told Euronews that von der Leyen might seek to win her support by giving Italy “a powerful post in the Commission.”

EU national leaders are expected to approve the arrangement at Thursday’s summit in Brussels, though the appointments of von der Leyen and Kallas will still need approval from the European Parliament.

June 26, 2024 at 12:26AM

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