The news of choosing the German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as the head of the European Commission wasn’t only a thunderbolt news, but also called the head of the European Commission more confusion in the fragile government coalition headed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, although its Social Democratic partners consider von der Leyen not eligible to receive this important post.
It is strange and interesting to ask whether the European Union has not found the German Defense Minister, who lacks so much to be able to assume the duties and responsibilities of the Presidency of the European Commission.
Merkel didn’t hide on Tuesday evening her satisfaction at naming her defense minister as president of the European Commission, which was previously said to have left her as chancellor.
In Germany, however, the “big coalition”, formed in 2018 between right-wing conservatives and the Social Democratic Party, didn’t seem to be acceptable for Ursula von der Leyen to be elevated to that level and appointed head of the European executive.
“Differences within the Grand Alliance replace those within the EPP”, the Suedeichi Zeitung newspaper reported.
At first, what he objects to is the naming of von der Leyen as “undemocratic” for this high post, which was not even a candidate in the recent European elections.
German Bild newspaper, Germany’s most widely circulated newspaper, said: “Merkel and her partners have canceled the European elections.
No matter who wins, presidents do what they like”.
Merkel’s allies have been outraged by Social Democrats, and the chancellor had to abstain when European leaders voted to appoint her minister.
With their popularity plummeting in opinion polls and their apparent decline in European elections, the Social Democrats wanted Dutchman France Timmermans to head the commission.
Former President of the European Parliament Martin Schultz expressed his surprise at the selection of the “weakest ministers” of the German government to fill the post in Brussels.
Former Social Democratic Party leader Sigmar Gabriel described what had happened as “unprecedented fraud” and said it should be a reason for the coalition to look at a promise to promote democracy in Europe.
The conservative Bavarian Christian Social Union, a member of the coalition, expressed a similar position after French President Emmanuel Macron rejected the naming of one of his leaders, Manfred Weber, before Merkel gave up.
However, Weber was at the top of the German right-wing list in the European elections.
With the appointment of von der Lien, the leader of the Bavarian right-wing Marcos Soder said: “It is regrettable that democracy has lost and won bargains in the backstage”.
“If these appointments are approved, the democratic process in Europe will go into a coma,” the ZDF television channel warned.
The European Parliament’s approval of these nominations still needs to be obtained.
The outcome of Ursula von der Leyen, head of the very strategic Ministry of Defense, must have brought all these harsh criticisms in Germany.
Because she, although enjoying a good reputation abroad, has been exposed for years to criticism arrows in her country.
While it was considered until 2013, a possible successor to Merkel, its popularity plummeted in the post.
She has contributed to her country’s increased participation in military operations abroad, particularly in Mali, which has earned her praise from Germany’s partners, such as France.
But the German army is unable to modernize its equipment, and was recently killed by the death of a pilot after a collision between two fighter jets, and then the death of a person in a helicopter crash.
The Ministry of Defense has also tarnished financial issues by hiring high-paid external consultants without bidding or implementing expensive projects, such as the renewal of a training ship costing more than 130 million euros.