Von der Leyen's 'Queen of Europe' Throne Looking a Little Shaky at the Moment

AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis

European observers are using the word "rattled" to describe European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen's uncharacteristic flailing, and it's really a sight to see. 


But that's what's happened since the EU elections a bit over a week ago knocked the legs out from under of most of her supporters, and have frankly endangered the political careers of two of the most powerful. Olaf Scholz, chancellor of Germany, looks like he'll keep his job, but will have to deal with a vastly changed coalition government. In France, it's been a bloodbath for lame duck President Emmanuel Macron after a thorough thrashing at the hands of Marine LePen's nationalist movement. So much so that he's dissolved the French parliament and, in a panicked move, called for snap elections at the same time as the Olympics. 

Quelle désordre! 

Macron's strategy had been based on the assumption that the French Republicans would fall in with his party, and save him, but he probably should have checked with them first. It turns out they declared for LePen's side almost as soon as the elections were set.

Quelle horreur!

And the 28-year-old who co-leads LePen's insurgent National Rally group could be the next French Prime Minister - an unthinkable turn of events just a few months ago.

The French would dearly love to know who is the real Jordan Bardella.

The question was interesting when Mr Bardella was merely president of the country’s biggest party, the far-right National Rally (RN).

Now that he is being openly spoken of as the country’s next prime minister, it has become a matter of urgency.

In two weeks the country goes to the polls in a snap election called by President Emmanuel Macron following his humiliation by the RN at the European elections last Sunday.

If the RN has pulled off another big win after the second round of voting on July 7, then Macron will have no choice but to offer it a chance to govern. And if that happens, Mr Bardella – who shares the party leadership with Marine Le Pen – is expected to be named as prime minister.



Where does this leave our favorite Bond villainess in her quest to retain her crown?

Jibbering like a fool, for one thing.

The "friends of Putin" schtick is getting really old, girlfriend, with people who just want their countries and old standard of living back from what you've wrought.

She doesn't get the message, though, and as little real power as the European Parliament has, it still torques her shorts immensely that Europeans voted the way they did. Von der Leyen's old school, as in democracy's great as long they vote for the democracy she tells them is the approved democracy.

Anything else is "right-wing extremism" and a "tool of Putin."

This gem of a moment below is not a Teutonic version of "The people have spoken and I accept their will" that we're misinterpreting. "Who the hell do they think they are and they're not getting away with it" is the distilled essence of Frau Von der Leyen's message here.


She's not making any friends and she needs to. The Queen hasn't got many, and for someone who wasn't popular to begin with, that's a problem. What she's saying in public concerning her grip on power being a foregone conclusion does not tally with the numbers political observers are toting up.

She's a few short of a throne.

EU leaders meet on June 17 to discuss top Brussels jobs with incumbent European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen 60 votes short of a majority in the European Parliament, according to one pollster.

The informal summit in the EU capital will discuss not only the next Commission chief but also the head of the European Council and the next EU foreign minister.

All eyes however will be on von der Leyen and her search for a second mandate.

Despite her post-EU-elections proclamation that her centrist Parliament majority had “held”, the German bureaucrat is thought to be short of the majority she requires for re-appointment.

The EU pollster, who asked not to be named as the “situation is changing daily”, analysed stated support for and against von der Leyen in the immediate aftermath of this month’s elections results. According to this tally, around 20 per cent of those elected had expressed no public opinion for or against, meaning they were marked as “uncertain”. Among the waverers are said to be Greens, European People’s Party members, Socialists and also members of the right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists group.

Around 300 MEPs, according to the pollster’s calculations, had publicly expressed support for another five years of a von der Leyen-led Commission: around 60 short of the 361 majority she requires in the Strasbourg-base


Von der Leyen is also being accused of burying an EU report critical of Italian Prime Minister Meloni's government as far as media censorship goes, in order to curry favor with her. Leaving aside the hypocrisy of the authoritarian EU itself chastizing any of its member countries for stifling "press freedom," it's really delightful to see Von der Leyen having to grovel for Meloni's goodwill for her own political survival. 

Ursula von der Leyen has sought to slow down an official European Union report criticizing Italy for eroding media freedoms, as she seeks Rome’s support for a second term as European Commission president.

According to four officials, a Commission investigation highlights a clampdown on free media in Italy since far-right Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni took office in 2022. The annual report assessing how EU countries respect the rule of law was expected to be approved on July 3 but would be delayed until the new Commission president is appointed, two officials said.

The delay is unusual and the risk for von der Leyen is it will seem politically motivated: She is currently seeking the support of EU leaders like Meloni for her bid to secure a second five-year term running the bloc’s executive.

After the way the Brussels elites all treated the Italian PM when she was elected - like a redheaded stepchild - between Von der Leyen's shameless toadying and crushing the obnoxious and possibly fatally wounded Macron at her recent G7 hosting triumph, Meloni could easily allow herself a warm, self-congratulatory 'vanquished the foes' moment of satisfaction.


I hope she did.

As Von der Leyen works the numbers for her survival, Eastern members of the EU keep hammering away at her vulnerabilities. At the very things that mainstream Europeans finally began to reject and vote against.

Von der Leyen has to be sweating hailstones. She no longer has Macron to whip votes for her, she's made buttloads of enemies with her imperial mannerisms and edicts, and the MEP (Members of the European Parliament) sentiments are no longer as malleable as during her last election - one she barely squeaked through in any event.

...In the Council, von der Leyen will require a qualified majority to become the official candidate.

The assembly vote on the next Commission President will follow, either next month or in September. It will be a secret vote.

The majority that saw her over the line last time — the European People’s Party, the Socialists and the Liberals — is 400-strong in the Strasbourg chamber though a number of MEPs are expected to defy their group’s whips as last time. Von der Leyen was confirmed in her post five years ago with a majority of just nine.



Could be tight.

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