Von der Leyen Secures EPP Support for Re-Election, Warns Against Bulgarian 'Revival' Party

Politics | Author: Diana Kavardzhikova |March 7, 2024, Thursday // 15:04
Bulgaria: Von der Leyen Secures EPP Support for Re-Election, Warns Against Bulgarian 'Revival' Party Wikimedia Commons

Today, the center-right European People's Party (EPP) has shown strong support for Ursula von der Leyen to extend her tenure as the President of the European Commission for an additional five-year term. At a congress held in Bucharest, von der Leyen emerged as the sole candidate, securing votes from prime ministers, European Parliament members, and party officials, though the outcome was not unanimous.

Against a backdrop of escalating global tensions, von der Leyen highlighted the pressing challenges facing the European Union, including the conflict in Ukraine, the Gaza crisis, and the growing influence of China. She also pointed out internal threats, specifically citing efforts by allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin to distort European history and undermine its future.

“And here at home, friends of (Russian President Vladimir) Putin are trying to rewrite our history and steal our future. They are spreading hate behind their keyboards. Let there be no doubt what is at stake in these elections," von der Leyen stated in her speech to the delegates. "Our peaceful and united Europe is being challenged like never before by populists, by nationalists, by demagogues... they want to trample our values and want to destroy our Europe, von der Leyen declared. She singled out the Bulgarian party “Revival” (Vazrazhdane) among those mentioned.

In her address to EPP delegates, von der Leyen emphasized the importance of defending European values against populist, nationalist, and demagogic forces. She pledged to bolster Europe's economy, combat illegal immigration, support farmers, and provide increased aid to Ukraine while enhancing the EU's defense capabilities.

Von der Leyen warned against the rise of far-right populism exemplified by parties like Alternative for Germany, Marine Le Pen's National Rally, and Bulgarian Revival party, stressing the need to safeguard the unity of Europe that has been painstakingly built.

Despite the EPP's continued dominance in opinion polls before the June elections, securing a majority in the increasingly fragmented European Parliament poses a significant challenge. Von der Leyen may need to navigate policy compromises to win crucial votes, particularly as eurosceptic parties gain ground, as reported by Reuters.

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Tags: leadership, campaign, europe, politics

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