The election of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president was seen by many in Brussels as the naked confirmation of Germany’s political heft in the European Union. The truth is that the country has plenty of other arrows in its quiver.
One of Europe’s most prominent victims of the coronavirus pandemic has been its adherence to market-driven economics.
Pressure is mounting on Germany to end coronavirus-related border restrictions, with neighboring countries warning that the measures threaten European unity.
On paper, Ursula von der Leyen could not be better cast for this moment in EU history: Brussels-born; trilingual in German, French and English; a three-time Cabinet minister; the first ever female European Commission president; and — a Hollywood scriptwriter could hardly dream it up — a trained medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic.
BORIS JOHNSON IN HOSPITAL WITH COVID-19: The British PM was admitted to hospital overnight as “a precautionary step,” a Downing Street spokeswoman said, as he “continues to have persistent symptoms of coronavirus 10 days after testing positive.”
The Parliament was first out the gate with containment measures; others were slow to respond.
The European Parliament is younger, more diverse — and more divided — than ever.
It has also increasingly been flexing its muscles in EU decision-making, and many MEPs are expected to play a major role on issues such as climate change, artificial intelligence and industrial policy.
Emily O’Reilly defends her record as she campaigns for reelection as European Ombudsman.
Party leaders argue they can drive harder bargain by showing they’re no pushovers.
By occupying the boss’ chair in Brussels, Berlin risks losing EU influence.