Ursula von der Leyen is "finished" and will not be reappointed as European Commission president following the June elections, a senior European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group MEP has said. (Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images)

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Von der Leyen ‘finished’, says senior ECR MEP Tertsch


Ursula von der Leyen is “finished” and will not be reappointed as European Commission president following the June European Parliament elections, according to a senior European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) Group MEP.

VOX representative Hermann Tertsch told Brussels Signal the European People’s Party (EPP) would likely drop von der Leyen as its lead candidate.

This, he argued, was because the group would no longer be able to rely on her to build a cross-party majority for her candidacy as in 2019.

Combined with the number of alleged scandals she has been linked with, Tertsch said he now believed she will be replaced.

“Ursula von der Leyen will disappear, definitely,” the ECR Vice-Chairman said.

“I think she’s finished. First of all, because she won’t have a majority [in the European Parliament].”

“But secondly, because I think the EPP will repent over having put her as spitzenkandidat [lead candidate],” Tertsch added, describing her continued candidacy as “unsustainable”.

Tertsch’s comments came amid growing questions regarding von der Leyen’s future.

There are rumblings that Member-State leaders may favour former European Central Bank leader Mario Draghi for the role.

The ex-Italian prime minister’s candidacy for the job has reportedly been discussed by his successor Giorgia Meloni and French President Emmanuel Macron.

France’s leader has a reputation for tanking EC leadership campaigns, often cited as the reason former 2019 frontrunner Manfred Weber was refused the role.

As with von der Leyen, Tertsch also said he believed the future of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was looking increasingly grim, saying he expected the PM to be prosecuted as soon as he leaves office.

“He will face criminal prosecution whenever he loses power,” the VOX politician claimed.

Tertsch went on to accuse Sánchez of having violated “so many laws” that he was now akin to a “South American dictator”, being unable to leave office for fear of being legally held to account.