Macron wants von der Leyen replaced – Bloomberg — RT World News

The French president is reportedly considering former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi as an alternative head of the Commission

French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to replace European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and is currently discussing options with other EU leaders, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing sources.

Von der Leyen is now preparing to hold elections in less than two months, and is seeking another five-year term. Macron, who was one of the main figures behind her elevation to the EU's top job, has been publicly critical of the president's approach to running the EU Commission.

He added: “The presidency of the Commission exists to defend the public interest, so it must not be overly politicized. It must be said that this was not the case at all with this outgoing committee. Macron said in Brussels last month.

Bloomberg, citing people familiar with these discussions, reported that the French president had been in contact with other EU leaders about potential candidates to replace the incumbent to lead the Commission, namely former Italian Prime Minister and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.

Sources in Brussels, including those in von der Leyen's office, commented that it remained unclear whether Macron was truly seeking to oust her or was merely applying pressure in order to extract future concessions from her.

Macron, along with then-German Chancellor Angela Merkel, was one of the main figures in 2019 behind the nomination of von der Leyen, then German Defense Minister, for the presidential elections of the European Union Commission.

Von der Leyen remains the clear favorite for the upcoming elections, given that she is the main candidate for the center-right European People's Party, which has the largest number of seats in the European Parliament, and is expected to strengthen its position further. Positions during the elections in June. However, the candidate presented by the EPP still needs the support of an absolute majority in Parliament.

The position of the current European Union president has been damaged by several high-profile scandals, the most recent of which erupted earlier this month when she found herself facing a storm of criticism for giving her fellow European Parliament member Markus Peper a lucrative job. “special advisor” With a salary of 17,000 euros per month.

The appointment “Raised questions about the transparency and impartiality of the nomination process.” Within the bloc, several senior officials, including the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, and Commissioner Thierry Breton, said jointly in a complaint to von der Leyen. But the committee ignored these accusations and stated this “He has every confidence that the operation took place in full compliance with the procedures.”

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