The European People’s Party (EPP) has a new leader from Germany. A new chapter begins for the CSU politician Manfred Weber. Is it just an intermediate step for the next career leap?
The CSU politician Manfred Weber will in future be at the head of the EPP, the largest family of European parties.
At a congress in Rotterdam, the 49-year-old was elected unopposed with 89 percent of the votes as president of the Christian Democratic organization, to which the Union parties CDU and CSU also belong. Weber replaces the former EU Council President and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who wants to concentrate fully on national politics again.
The declared goal of Niederbayern Weber is to give the EPP more importance again. The Christian Democrats had recently suffered serious defeats – for example in the federal elections in Germany or the presidential elections in France.
Other important EU countries are not currently governed by Christian Democrats either. In Italy, the independent Mario Draghi is in power, Spain is governed by the social democrat Pedro Sánchez, and the Netherlands by the liberal Mark Rutte. Altogether there are only around half a dozen Christian Democrats at the head of state or government in an EU country. The economically strongest of these is Austria.
Weber: Only EPP guarantees a social market economy
In his election speech, Weber emphasized that the EPP is Europe’s rule-of-law party. Only the EPP guarantees a social market economy. He sharply criticized the federal government. Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) shows “no will, no determination, no leadership” because of strong Russia-friendly networks in the SPD, which former Chancellor Gerhard Schröder also embodies.
Weber has led the EPP Group in the European Parliament since 2014. As the top candidate of his party family in the 2019 European elections, he failed to become President of the EU Commission.
It is considered conceivable that the EVP post could also be a stopover for Weber on the way back home. The incumbent CSU chairman, Markus Söder, recently had to struggle with less good poll numbers.
Although Weber emphasized that he was “skin and hair” European. However, he does not explicitly rule out a candidacy. This question simply does not arise, said the 49-year-old recently. In return, Söder acknowledged Weber as a great European even before his election. “We are proud and very happy for him.”