, 16 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
In half an hour @vonderleyen will make a last ditch effort to convince MEPs to back her candidacy for the European Commission. The vote- unless the EP president puts the last minute amendment- will take place in the evening. #Thread
1. There are various controversies around her candidacy. Some say that she has had bad track record as a defense minister in Germany and that she has limited knowledge about other important EU dossiers.
2. Others simply don't like the fact that that she was not a lead candidate and that she is a compromise candidate and acceptable to CEE countries- they even imply that this already disqualifies her.
3. The opposition to Mrs von der Leyen has been led by German Social Democrats who have been furious that in paving her candidacy A. Merkel ignored their concerns; the Social Democrats backed Timmermans for the Commission presidency
4. German Social Democrats launched a campaign against von der Leyen arguing that backing her today would be a slap in the face of European voters.
5. Indeed, von der Leyen is not perfect and I think there were more suitable candidates available from the lead candidates (team Europe) pool but to say that her victory would undermine EU's democratic legitimacy or- worse- would be a final blow to European democracy is a stretch
6. If anything her candidacy is a product of MEPs own failure to rally behind one of their own Spitzkandidates (and fortunately there are quite a few experts in Brussels who admit that)
7. True, It was more difficult to strike a deal among political groups in 2019 because elections delivered a fragmented EP. But we knew that long time ago& MEPs had time to prepare a strategy. Apparently preserving the lead candidates system wasn't as vital as they say it was..
8. But what is more important - shooting down von der Leyen does not bring European Social Democrats much closer to someone more receptive to their policy preferences - on say #ruleoflaw- the row around Timmermans show that the EU leaders would avoid picking a divisive candidate.
9. The EPP will still insist that the job goes to one of their own and the package will not be unraveled (bar perhaps the office of the HR- so I bet that Spain will try hard to prevent it from happening).
10. The row over Timmermans shows that EU leaders will opt again for a compromise candidate. And, rightly so: to be frank the whole package is already divisive with no Central European, Nordic or non-euro area representative.
11. And, I disagree with those who in a compromise candidate immediately see a tendency to be lenient towards towards defiant member-states and ambivalent towards democratic backsliding in the EU.
12. I want the EU to defend the #ruleoflaw and I have advocated some bold actions but I wonder sometimes what she would have to say during the hearings to satisfy everyone? She already committed to pushing forward with peer review mechanism and conditionality.
13. And, more broadly - it is naive of so many of the EU experts - to think that an ambitious Commission President is a recipe to all EU's sorrows. Most of the big stuff is still in the hands of the EU leaders including the some of the rule of law issues.
14. So is it worth engaging in this tag of war? By defeating von der Leyen MEPs could strengthen Eurosceptic narrative that EP is more interested in power grab than in addressing citizens' problems. I know it is more nuanced than this but good luck to explaining it to your public
15. You can find more comprehensive @ForeignPolicy analysis on why I think that alternatives to von der Leyen could be worse here: :foreignpolicy.com/2019/07/15/urs…
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