Plenković and Mitsotakis Eye European Commission Presidency as von der Leyen's Support Wanes

Potential shake-up in EU leadership as Croatian and Greek PMs eye Ursula von der Leyen's job as European Commission President amid waning support.

Trim Correspondents
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Plenković and Mitsotakis Eye European Commission Presidency as von der Leyen's Support Wanes

Plenković and Mitsotakis Eye European Commission Presidency as von der Leyen's Support Wanes

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have expressed interest in succeeding Ursula von der Leyen as the President of the European Commission, according to a report in the German tabloid Bild. The report, published in April 2024, suggests that von der Leyen's support is waning, prompting these two leaders to position themselves as potential candidates for the top EU position.

Von der Leyen, the current President of the European Commission, is facing diminishing support for her re-appointment. Several high-ranking European politicians are reportedly considering running against her, including former Italian Prime Minister and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi, current Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

Draghi's recent keynote speech has been perceived by some as a disguised candidacy for the Commission President role, while Frederiksen and Mitsotakis have been praised by European leaders and are seen as potential contenders. Kristalina Georgieva, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, has also been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Why this matters: The potential change in leadership at the European Commission could have significant implications for the direction and policies of the European Union. As the EU confronts various challenges, including economic recovery, climate change, and geopolitical tensions, the choice of the next Commission President will play a critical role in shaping the bloc's future.

The lack of enthusiastic support from French conservatives and a series of missteps during her presidency are increasingly clouding Von der Leyen's future as Commission President. This has opened the door for other high-ranking European politicians, such as Plenković and Mitsotakis, to express their interest in the position and potentially throw their hat in the ring.

Key Takeaways

  • Croatian and Greek PMs interested in replacing von der Leyen as EU Commission President
  • Von der Leyen's support waning, prompting potential challengers like Draghi, Frederiksen, Mitsotakis
  • Draghi's speech seen as disguised candidacy, Frederiksen and Mitsotakis praised as contenders
  • Georgieva of IMF also mentioned as possible candidate for Commission President
  • Change in EU Commission leadership could significantly impact EU's direction and policies