Angela Merkel continues a display of serial political misjudgments regarding European parliament and the parsing of top jobs in the EU.
First, Merkel dumped Manfred Weber, despite the Spitzenkandidaten process which claims the party with the most votes gets to pick the European commission head.
In a compromise with France, Christine Lagarde (French) will head the ECB, and in a second compromise with France, Merkel settled on Ursula von der Leyen to head the EC instead of Weber.
Plan “C” may now go down the toilet as well. Despite the fact the compromise candidate is German, the German media is still upset over Merkel’s decisions.
The European Parliament still has to vote on Ursula Von der Leyen, and she might lose.
The mood in Germany is turning against Von der Leyen. This morning, more German newspapers were calling on the European Parliament to reject her. It is not easy for outsiders to grasp why Germany of all countries is so hostile to a German nominee, especially somebody with strong pro-European views.
The reason is that the whole political system in Germany has bought into the spitzenkandidaten idea. As happens so often, German political commentators extrapolate to the rest of the EU from their own rather special beliefs about how democracy should work. It was one of Angela Merkel’s serial misjudgements over the last few days that, having lost the spitzenkandidaten debate, she could calm down public opinion with a German nominee.
The biggest problem for von der Leyen is possibly her own team – and her own country. It is conceivable that angry EPP MEPs might end up not supporting her. The vote will be secret.
So here is the math: Von der Leyen will need at least 376 votes for an absolute majority. Together EPP, S&D and RE have 444, which should be enough in theory. But that margin may not be big enough to secure support on purely partisan lines. She has a chance. But events could intrude, as the saying goes.
France Wins – Germany Loses
Merkel’s era is long gone. More importantly, Germany’s time has come and gone.
It will no longer be a Franco-German axis stipulating European policy.
David Sassoli, an Italian centre-left MEP, won his election to the presidency of the European Parliament with far fewer votes than the nominal coalition of EPP, S&D and the liberal Reform Europe group would suggest.
Eurointelligence asks “Whose votes were missing?”
Regardless, that’s yet another failure of Merkel and the now dead Spitzenkandidaten process.
Deindustrialization of Germany
The German industrial powerhouse is collapsing under diesel and Green politics.
That too suits France just fine. The rest of Europe does not like Germany’s export prowess.
Toss out the old alliances even if the new ones are fragile and won’t last. There is simply too much cross-politics and too many splintered parties for this fragile compromise to last very long.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock