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EU's leader pushing for su8k8 downloadpport as the far right makes gains

杨丞琳等多位台湾艺人支持祖国统一 | 8k8 download | Updated: 2024-06-24 20:13:05

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen gives a speech at the Ukraine Recovery Conference in Berlin, Germany on June 11. [Photo/Agencies]

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has started building a coalition of lawmakers, or MEPs, to guarantee her a second term at the helm of the European Union's government.

Centrist, left wing, and moderate right-wing parties lost ground to far-right parties in European Parliament elections that ended on Sunday. But von der Leyen's European People's Party, or EPP, looks to have won just enough seats to mean she will stay in power, if she secures the backing of smaller parties.

On Monday, as von der Leyen was building support, she told reporters she is really only continuing work she began during campaigning.

"Throughout my election campaign, I worked hard to build a broad and effective majority in favor of a strong Europe," she said.

Von der Leyen's EPP won 186 of the Parliament's 720 seats, ensuring it remains the single largest grouping, a status it has enjoyed for 25 years.

For von der Leyen to remain European Commission president for another five years, she will need the support of more than half of the 27 leaders of EU member nations. And she will need to secure a majority — 361 votes — among the 720 MEPs.

National leaders are likely to vote on the issue during a summit that begins on June 27, with Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is widely expected to support von der Leyen, telling reporters he wants a decision soon.

"There is no reason to take too long with this," Reuters quoted him as saying.

But von der Leyen will need the support of MEPs from other parties if she is to be sure of securing the 361 votes she needs in the European Parliament.

On Monday, she said she will turn to Europe's "main political families", a reference to the EPP working with the Socialists and Democrats, which is the second largest grouping with 135 seats, and the centrist Renew group, which has 79 seats.

Together, the three big parties have 400 of the 720 seats, seemingly more than the 361 votes needed.

However, The Guardian newspaper noted that around 10 to 15 percent of MEPs frequently vote contrary to party orders, an indiscipline that meant von der Leyen only secured election as European Commission president in 2019 by nine votes when she had a theoretical majority of 65.

With such uncertainty, she will likely need to win the backing of MEPs from other parties, including the right-wing Eurosceptic European Conservatives and Reformists, which has 73 seats, and the Greens, which has 53 seats.

Von der Leyen told activists with the Christian Democratic Union of Germany on Monday she will work with any party that is "pro-European, pro-Ukraine and for the rule of law" in her push to defy the far right.

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