Tag Archives: von der Leyen

Leyen presents €750bn EU Recovery Plan

Today, the European Commission has put forward its proposal for a major recovery plan. To ensure the recovery is sustainable, even, inclusive and fair for all Member States, the European Commission is proposing to create a new recovery instrument, Next Generation EU, embedded within a powerful, modern and revamped long-term EU budget. The Commission has also unveiled its adjusted Work Programme for 2020, which will prioritise the actions needed to propel Europe’s recovery and resilience.

“…Things we take for granted are being questioned. There is the Single Market that needs to recover. There is the playing field that needs to be made even again. And there are four freedoms that need to be fully restored. The crisis has huge externalities and spillovers across countries. None of that can be fixed by any single country alone. A bankrupt company in one Member State, is a reliable supplier gone for a business in another. A struggling economy in one part of Europe, weakens a strong economy in another part” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said.

The coronavirus has shaken Europe and the world to its core, testing healthcare and welfare systems, our societies and economies and our way of living and working together. To protect lives and livelihoods, repair the Single Market, as well as to build a lasting and prosperous recovery, the European Commission is proposing to harness the full potential of the EU budget. Next Generation EU of €750 billion as well as targeted reinforcements to the long-term EU budget for 2021-2027 will bring the total financial firepower of the EU budget to €1.85 trillion.

“The recovery plan turns the immense challenge we face into an opportunity, not only by supporting the recovery but also by investing in our future: the European Green Deal and digitalization will boost jobs and growth, the resilience of our societies and the health of our environment. This is Europe’s moment. Our willingness to act must live up to the challenges we are all facing. With Next Generation EU we are providing an ambitious answer” von der Leyen said.

“Our common budget is at the heart of Europe’s recovery plan. The additional firepower of Next Generation EU and the reinforced multiannual financial framework will give us the power of solidarity to support Member States and the economy. Together, Europe will arise more competitive, resilient and sovereign” Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of the EU budget said.

“The recovery will need strong policy direction. The adapted Work Programme, reflecting the new reality, shows that we will focus all our actions on overcoming the crisis, jumpstarting our economy and putting the European Union firmly on a resilient, sustainable and fair recovery path. It will help us rebound stronger” vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, in charge of interinstitutional relations and foresight, said.

Complementing national efforts, the EU budget is uniquely placed to power a fair socio economic recovery, repair and revitalise the Single Market, to guarantee a level playing field, and support the urgent investments, in particular in the green and digital transitions, which hold the key to Europe’s future prosperity and resilience.

Next Generation EU will raise money by temporarily lifting the own resources ceiling to 2.00% of EU Gross National Income, allowing the Commission to use its strong credit rating to borrow €750 billion on the financial markets. This additional funding will be channelled through EU programmes and repaid over a long period of time throughout future EU budgets – not before 2028 and not after 2058. To help do this in a fair and shared way, the Commission proposes a number of new own resources. In addition, in order to make funds available as soon as possible to respond to the most pressing needs, the Commission proposes to amend the current multiannual financial framework 2014-2020 to make an additional €11.5 billion in funding available already in 2020.

Europe is in a unique position to be able to invest in a collective recovery and a common future. In our Union, people, business and economies depend and rely on each other. In our Union, cohesion, convergence and investment are good for all.
And in our Union, we know that the boldest measures truly are the safest for our future.
This is why the Commission is today proposing a new recovery instrument, called Next Generation EU – worth EUR 750 billion” von der Leyen
announced.
It will sit on top of a revamped long-term EU budget of EUR 1.1 trillion.
Next Generation EU – together with the core MFF – sums up to EUR 1.85 trillion in today’s proposals. It goes alongside the three safety nets of EUR 540 billion in loans, already agreed by Parliament and Council. In sum, this would bring our recovery effort to a total of EUR 2.4 trillion

EU hopeful for “orderly” Brexit

Ursula von der Leyen, the future president of the European Commission expressed readiness to build “good working relation” with newly elected by Conservatives British Prime minister Boris Johnson. During her visit to Paris she sad that is hopeful to reach an outcome good for both sides of the Channel, however she did not mention the word “Brexit”, talking  in more general terms about “challenging times”.

Michel Barnier (picutred) the EU top Brexit negociator  wrote his Twitter micro blog that he is looking forward to working constructively with Prime Minister Boris Johnson,  to “facilitate the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement” he also expressed intention to achieve an “orderly Brexit.  (Image: archive).

“We are ready also to rework the agreed Declaration on a new partnership in line with EUCO guidelines”, he added.

Salvini concerned by vd Leyen election

Italy Deputy Prime minister Matteo Salvini has expressed his concern about the election by the European Parliament of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.
We saw a president of the European Commission indicated by Merkel and backed by Macron, Renzi and Berlusconi and the 5-Stars, leaning very far to the left on some issues like economic growth and border control, we are concerned,” Salvini said.

She passed by nine votes, it’s as if in Italy there was a PD-FI-M5S government, what change does she represent? “I’m proud of the coherence and loyalty shown by the MEPs of the League (in not voting for her” he added.

Von der Leyen endorsed by MEPs as Commission president

Today MEPs voted on the candidate for the president of the European Commission,  Ursula von der Leyen, put forward by the European Council.  Her candidacy was endorsed with with 383 votes in favour.

German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who was nominated for the post by the European Council, after “leading candidate” Manfred Weber was rejected by a number of member-states. The European People’s Party insisted the top job should belong to one of their political family, because they came out with the best result after the European elections in May this year.

 

In Strasboug Plenary Von der Leyen presented her programme and responded to questions of MEPs.

In order to become Commission President, von der Leyen  had to secure the support of an absolute majority of MEPs (at least 374 votes). The vote was a secret paper ballot.

 

In case she failed to win a majority, the European Council would have to put forward another candidate.

AMENDED: In her speech this morning  Ursula von der Leyen outlined her priorities as Commission President. 

Having identified the collective need for “a healthy planet as our greatest challenge and responsibility”, Ms von der Leyen proposed bolder emissions targets, with a reduction of 50% to 55% by 2030 and committed to submit a plan for a “Green Deal for Europe” and a European Climate Law within her first 100 days in office. She also announced plans for sustainable European investment (also through the partial conversion of EIB funds into a “climate bank”) to provide €1 trillion in investments within a decade.

Von der Leyen also stressed that the EU must establish an economy that serves the people. In order for this to happen however, “everyone needs to share the burden” – including those tech giants that conduct their business (and should continue to do so) in Europe, yet do not repay the people of Europe for their access to EU human and social capital.

Reiterating her commitment for a gender-balanced College of Commissioners during her term, she also highlighted that violence against women has to be tackled decisively; she would therefore seek to define violence against women as a crime in the European treaties, in parallel to completing the EU’s accession to the Istanbul Convention.

Von der Leyen declared her commitment to rule of law as a European value, announcing that she intends to establish an EU-wide monitoring mechanism in parallel to existing measures. She emphasised that these European values also include a duty to save lives at sea and should translate into a humane border policy. She stated her support for a “new pact on migration & asylum” and Dublin Regulation reform, adding that she intends to ensure that Frontex border guards number 10,000 not by 2027, but by 2024, and that all countries should shoulder their fair share of the burden based on the principle of European solidarity.

On the matter of European democracy, von der Leyen announced a two-year Conference for Europe as of 2020, in which citizens will take a leading and active role. She also emphasised the need for the Spitzenkandidaten system to be strengthened and that transnational lists should be reconsidered in future European elections. She also declared her full support for a right of initiative for the European Parliament, committing to put forward a legislative proposal in response to every resolution that is passed with a majority of Parliament’s constituent members.

Von der Leyen debates with MEPs

On July 10 Ursula von der Leyen, the ultimate candidate for the European Commission presidency, had an exchange of views with MEPs in the European Parliament Brussels, a crucial test before the vote in Strasbourg Plenary next week.

To succeed Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1, this close associate of Chancellor Angela Merkel, a member of the  conservatives party CDU, must convince the MEPs she is right candidate to become Prime minister of Europe replacing her unfortunate predecessor leading candidate of European Peoples party EPP Manfred Weber.

Von der Leyen must obtain an absolute majority in Parliament, winning 374 votes (given the absence of three elected Catalan). However, outcome is uncertain as the EU leaders appointed it on 2 July at a three-day crisis European summit, a surprise candidates presented instead of politicians put forward by parties. However rejection of her candidacy will create a protracted political crisis, unlikely scenario to be chosen by MEPs as an option in a power wrestling between EU institutions.

After the hearing the candidate made a statement for press vowing to answer the citizens needs with more Europe in providing jobs, perspective, stability and security. She also promised to insure minimum salary in every member-state, support of SME in transition period for Climate Action, putting the issue on the top of her priorities. Last but not least was the international engagement of the EU across globe, which she presumed world expects from EU.

Juncker receives von der Leyen with “open arms”

Delighted to welcome von der Leyen with open arms to the  European Commission today. A true European, we are on the same page when it comes to speaking up for interests” wrote incumbent president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in his Twitter micro blog.

Von der Leyen appeared as a “surprise” candidate,  after leading candidate Manfred Weber was rejected by the Eastern European member-states. Her candidacy for the Commission president was endorsed by all EU leaders apart from German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who abstained because her domestic coalition partners, the Social Democrats (SPD), refused to support her candidacy.

If endorsed by the European Parliament, von der Leyen would become the first woman to ascend the European Union’s top post.

There was a word that Juncker was not impressed by choice of Martin Weber for top job, however he never opposed him publicly.

Von der Leyen vows cooperation among EU institutions

Ursul von der Leyen, endorsed by the EU leaders for European Commission president had a meeting with the European People’s Party MEPs in camera at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on July 3. She also made a press statement, explaining that the cooperation among EU insitutuions will be her proportion in case her candidacy is approved by the Europarliament.

Von der Leyen met with the newly elected president of the European Parliament Socialist David Sassoli, however the exchanged of view has not been revealed.