German Chancellor Angela Merkel has signalled there is discord between the conservatives from her CDU\CSU and its junior coalition partners, the Social Democrats, over the candidate for the key EU post, the European Commission President. She revealed that the SPD’s opposition to the CDU’s nominee Ursula von der Leyen is making governing difficult.
"We are working for Mrs von der Leyen to be elected. It is not an easy situation - I want to say that emphatically - that the coalition partner is not pulling together with us here”, the chancellor stated at a presser following a meeting with Denmark's prime minister.
The EU is to complete the formation of its new government in July 2019. After the European Council had nominated the German Defence Minister as a candidate for the top job, Von Der Leyen, 60, is now campaigning to gain the backing of over half of the 751 votes from MEPs in the EU Parliament.
Whilst most expect her to secure a landslide victory, others have criticised her candidacy after MEPs voiced concerns that national leaders had selected her over other prospective candidates following European parliamentary elections in late May.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker noted that the process to appoint her as commission chair had not been very transparent.