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VDL: Commission President and Candidate

A week ago, at a press conference, Commission President von der Leyen nixed talk about the next step for Ukraine’s membership of the EU before this June’s EU Parliamentary elections

By: N. Peter Kramer - Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2024

A public secret in Brussels, is that VDL fails to consult others when making decisions. May be the most unbelievable example is the dubious deal she made, without consulting the commission and the member-states, with Pfizer CEO Bourla.
A public secret in Brussels, is that VDL fails to consult others when making decisions. May be the most unbelievable example is the dubious deal she made, without consulting the commission and the member-states, with Pfizer CEO Bourla.

N. Peter Kramer’s Weekly Column

A week ago, at a press conference, Commission President von der Leyen nixed talk about the next step for Ukraine’s membership of the EU before this June’s EU Parliamentary elections. Three days later in Kyiv, standing next to Ukrainian President Zelensky, she reverted to the original timeline and said the Commission will submit the next formal step for Ukraine’s EU bid in mid-March.

Her backpedalling shows the problem. Can you be President of the Commission and the same time be the candidate to succeed yourself?

In recent weeks, von der Leyen cut unpopular files on climate and agriculture which could have been seen as having outsized impact on the economics of voters in the EU, farmers in particular. Defending her legacy of the Green Deal has been weakened while addressing the concerns of her party, the EPP, and its constituents.

That was also the reason of her false step regarding Ukraine. If this country were to become a member of the EU, it would get by far the biggest part of money from the EU’s agricultural subsidy pot. Polish farmers have already mounted a blockade of the Ukrainian border to protest against cheap imports.

A public secret in Brussels, is that VDL fails to consult others when making decisions. May be the most unbelievable example is the dubious deal she made, without consulting the commission and the member-states, with Pfizer CEO Bourla. On her own, she purchased 1,8 billion corona vaccines, around 35 billion euros would have been involved in the deal. Most tragic is that 215 million of the vaccines, worth 4 billion euros, have been thrown away. Even EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly didn’t get a clarification of VDL, neither did the EU Court of Auditors.

Who gets away with it? 

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