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10 Jun, 2024 02:23

Von der Leyen vows to continue ‘pro-Ukraine’ policies

The European Commission president has promised to fortify the bloc against political “extremists”
Von der Leyen vows to continue ‘pro-Ukraine’ policies

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced that the bloc will continue on a “pro-Ukraine path,” after her centrist faction was projected to remain the largest group in the EU Parliament following bloc-wide elections. Right-wing parties, however, are predicted to inflict crushing defeats on the ruling coalitions in France and Germany.

According to provisional results on Sunday, von der Leyen’s European People’s Party (EPP) has secured 26% of the seats in the EU’s legislative body. She noted that centrist parties are expected to have held firm in various parts of 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 is seeking a second term as European Commission president, declared that her goal is to “build a broad majority for a strong Europe and said 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 in several countries has been fueled by voters’ legitimate concerns being ignored, according to the 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. The ECR, which is expected to win 71 seats out of 720 in the EU parliament, 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 is expected to have been dealt a severe blow, finishing in third place behind the conservative opposition, according to forecasts. The main opposition group, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union (CSU), is expected to have won some 30% of the vote, while the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is set to come second with around 16%, pushing Scholz’s Social Democrats (SPD) down to 14%.

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