Von der Leyen vows to lead EU down ‘pro-Ukraine’ path

Lazy eyes listen


European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has sworn to “form a bastion against extremes from the left and from the right” in the EU, as her centrist group retained the top spot in the European Parliament, despite right-wing parties humiliating the ruling coalitions in both France and Germany.

Von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP) has won some 26% of seats in the the EU’s legislative body, according to the provisional results on Sunday. She noted that centrist parties are holding strong in Europe, but conceded that “extremes on the left and on the right have gained support.” 

“We will stop them,” Von der Leyen told her supporters in Brussels on Sunday night, vowing to “build a bastion against the extremes from the left and from the right.”

Von der Leyen, who seeks a second term as the European Commission President, declared that her goal is to “build a broad majority for a strong Europe“ and that she intends to “continue on this path with those who are pro-European, pro-Ukraine, pro-rule of law.” 

The surge in support for right-wing parties was fueled by the voters’ real concerns staying unheard, according to Vice-President of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), Assita Kanko.

“When the true aspirations of citizens are ignored… it gives, unfortunately, more space to extreme movements. That’s why we need to listen to the citizens,” Kanko stated in Brussels on Sunday. ECR, which is expected to win some 71 seats out of 720, has advocated for a focus on security, migration control and European values.

European voters humiliated the governing coalitions in two of the bloc’s largest economies, giving increased support to anti-war parties focused on domestic agendas.

In Germany, Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s centrist party was dealt a severe blow when it came up in third place behind its conservative opposition, according to the forecasts. The main opposition group Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU) are expected to with with some 30% of the votes, while Alternative for Germany (AfD) is to get second with around 16%, pushing Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) down to 14%.

Meanwhile in France, the right-wing National Rally (RN) party dominated President Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance party in the polls to such an extent that he dissolved the country’s National Assembly and called for a fresh snap election.