EU political groups won’t back nominee before vote

Ursula von der Leyen signals she will not reopen Brexit talks

Ursula von der Leyen signals she will not reopen Brexit talks

European Union president nominee Ursula von der Leyen said Wednesday she hopes Britain will abandon Brexit but warned London it must take responsiblity for "sorting out" its tortured departure from the bloc.

Ms von der Leyen has now met with all the Parliament's political groupings in the hope of convincing them to support her.

Von der Leyen, a 60-year-old former gynaecologist and mother of seven, switched between English, French and German as she spoke in favour of enlarging the eurozone and the EU's open-border Schengen area, provided countries meet the criteria. However, the German defence minister comes with no track record on environment and sustainability, and with the Commission's work programme still unclear, her commitment to protecting nature and the climate is untested.

"I think the backstop is of utmost importance and we absolutely know how crucial this nonexistent border is for you", she said in response to an Irish MEP.

The German also dealt a significant blow to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt by vowing to defend the controversial Northern Ireland backstop. Ms von der Leyen was branded "disappointing" and accused of "ignoring the climate emergency" after making her pitch to the 74 Green MEPs in the European Parliament.

More news: William Saliba: Spurs rival Arsenal for Saint-Etienne defender
More news: Haas title sponsor terminates F1 deal
More news: Trump says China broke promise to buy American farm goods

MORE: President-in-waiting at European commission says she hopes United Kingdom "abandons Brexit" But Scottish MEP Alyn Smith pressed her for more detail on the matter, saying that she had already promised to support giving the United Kingdom more time. Her earlier meetings with the EPP, Eurosceptic group and socialists were not broadcast online.

Von der Leyen will need at least 375 votes from MEPs in Strasbourg next week in order to be approved for the position. "So as we've said, we want you in, we are prepared for whatever happens, but if we are to choose, we want you in".

The conservative German defence minister may still win support of the full parliament next week, but rejection by the Greens leaves her relying more on nationalists in eastern Europe who like her tough stance on Russian Federation. "I prefer to speak about the army of the Europeans, not the European army", she said, citing as a model the existing cooperation between Dutch and German forces.

While Brussels debates the process of the nomination, especially the decision to cast aside the lead candidates chosen by the political groups in favour of a surprise nominee, environmental groups are warning that the election of the EU's most powerful job can not ignore people's demand for a greener Europe.

This is the foundation - respect for the rule of law, she told a group of liberal deputies, adding that it was also vital to boost the competitiveness of the EU's economy.

Recommended News

  • NASA replaces key administrator amid push to return to moon

    NASA replaces key administrator amid push to return to moon

    Johnson said that amid the challenges that come with the moonshot project, removing experienced leaders at NASA appears to be an ill-guided decision.
    National French Fry Day: Here's where to snag the crispiest deals

    National French Fry Day: Here's where to snag the crispiest deals

    Score a free small order of fries and a small drink when you buy a Western Bacon Cheeseburger if you join their email list. McDonald's : Enjoy $1 small fries through July 21 or $1 medium fries on Fridays with any $1 purchase made via the app.
    NSW wins State of Origin

    NSW wins State of Origin

    The last time they went longer without a win outside their home state was an 11-game stretch from 1999 to 2006 (D1, L10). When pushed on whether he'd turn down an NRL job, Walters replied: "I don't want to talk about that now".
  • 4.6 quake  rattles Seattle region in the middle of the night

    4.6 quake rattles Seattle region in the middle of the night

    No significant damages or injuries were reported to city infrastructure, according to Tacoma and Pierce County officials. The state Department of Transportation sent crews out to inspect bridges but no damage was found by Friday afternoon.
    Hong Kong protesters march against traders from mainland China

    Hong Kong protesters march against traders from mainland China

    Beijing-appointed Lam, who is not directly elected, and her government haven't acted in the people's interest, he said. Hong Kong media mogul and democracy advocate Jimmy Lai met with U.S.
    Boeing changes executive in charge of the 737 Max factory

    Boeing changes executive in charge of the 737 Max factory

    Sinnett will still brief customers and others on technical aspects of the Max, including software linked to the crashes. Jenks previously managed the Boeing 787, which was grounded in 2013 after batteries overheated on several planes.
  • What Killings? Duterte’s Top Diplomat Rejects UN Drug War Probe

    What Killings? Duterte’s Top Diplomat Rejects UN Drug War Probe

    Duterte, a former prosecutor, has repeatedly lashed out at United Nations human rights experts critical of his anti-drug campaign. The measure received the backing of 18 states in the 47-member rights council, with 14 nations voting against and 15 abstentions.
    Barca sign Griezmann Atletico dispute fee

    Barca sign Griezmann Atletico dispute fee

    But now the saga is finally over, with Griezmann being announced as Barcelona's third arrival of the summer. He also won the Europa League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup in that time.
    Brazil's Bolsonaro offers his son the post of ambassador in Washington

    Brazil's Bolsonaro offers his son the post of ambassador in Washington

    Eduardo Bolsonaro, now a federal congressman, told reporters he would accept the role if nominated. The ambassadorship has been vacant since January 1, when Jair Bolsonaro took office.
  • Nigeria’s Rohr wary of much improved Algeria

    Nigeria’s Rohr wary of much improved Algeria

    The 66-year-old also revealed the team had to focus majorly on recovery session after the game against South Africa. Nigeria is to play Algeria who defeated the Elephants 4-3 in penalty shoot out after regulation time ended one-all.
    Serena Williams, still chasing history, faces Simona Halep in Wimbledon final

    Serena Williams, still chasing history, faces Simona Halep in Wimbledon final

    Her hopes of winning a first Grand Slam tournament since 2017 appeared slim, but Williams has come into form at the right time . Despite the lack of success in the previous meetings, Halep insisted that her focus is on Wimbledon rather than Williams.
    New MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

    New MacBook Air and MacBook Pro

    So far, one Geekbench result has appeared for the 1.7GHz config, showing a score of 4,835 single-core and 15,515 multi-core. The devices are equipped with a 58.2 Wh battery that can power the machine for up to 10 hours on a single charge.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.