BERLIN (Reuters) – Germany’s Social Democrats have circulated a damning paper to their European political group wherein they name Ursula von der Leyen an “insufficient and inappropriate candidate” to guide the European Fee forward of a vote on her nomination subsequent week.
FILE PHOTO: German Protection Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated as European Fee President, briefs the media after the Convention of Presidents of European Parliament’s celebration blocs in Brussels, Belgium, July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir
The European Parliament is because of vote subsequent Tuesday on whether or not von der Leyen, Germany’s protection minister and a conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, ought to succeed Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the EU govt.
Von der Leyen’s nomination by EU leaders has infuriated the Social Democrats (SPD), Merkel’s coalition companions, who really feel aggrieved that the leaders ignored the lead candidates from the primary parliamentary blocs of their horse-trading over prime posts.
Merkel stated on Thursday the coalition’s state of affairs “shouldn’t be simple”. She was the one EU chief to abstain in a vote final week on an EU prime jobs package deal after she consulted the SPD, which rejected the deal.
Von der Leyen is at present lobbying lawmakers within the European Parliament to verify her as Fee chief. The Socialist grouping to which the SPD belongs has 154 of the meeting’s complete 751 seats, not sufficient alone to dam her.
In its paper, the SPD dissected what it introduced as von der Leyen’s coverage and management failures as protection minister, highlighting a scandal over the awarding of contracts, her alienation of the military prime brass and gaps within the army.
“From the very starting, she … overestimated herself,” learn the doc, written in English and seen by Reuters.
A spokesman for the Protection Ministry declined to touch upon the paper when contacted by Reuters.
The paper is bound to inflame tensions within the coalition, already operating excessive after former SPD chief Sigmar Gabriel recommended the celebration may give up the ruling alliance over von der Leyen’s nomination as European Fee chief.
The SPD is plumbing new post-war depths in polls on account of its resolution, deeply unpopular with supporters, to prop up Merkel’s authorities and is split over whether or not to remain within the coalition for an additional two years.
Below a sub-heading “Lack of help within the Bundeswehr”, the SPD took purpose at von der Leyen’s 2017 assault on “weak management” within the armed forces (Bundeswehr) after an officer was arrested on suspicion of planning a racist assault to border refugees.
“Troopers of upper ranks had been horrified,” the paper learn. “It took weeks to calm the interior critics. Nonetheless, there may be nonetheless discuss of alienation between the minister and the Bundeswehr.”
Of her efforts to repair gaps in army readiness, the SPD stated von der Leyen had did not make important enhancements and that the Bundeswehr was nonetheless “in a shabby state”.
Lower than half Germany’s Eurofighter and Twister fighter jets and none of its six submarines had been prepared for fight in 2018, a parliamentary report stated in January.
The SPD paper additionally pointed to a “value explosion” within the refurbishment of a army coaching ship, for which it stated: “Ursula von der Leyen has political accountability.”
Martin Schulz, one other former SPD chief, has known as von der Leyen “our weakest minister.” However Katarina Barley, who led the SPD’s marketing campaign for elections to the European Parliament in Might, has stated the coalition is not going to collapse over her nomination.
The nomination offers Merkel the chance to safe an in depth ally on the prime of the EU who will outlast her. The present parliamentary time period is because of run till 2021, which is when Merkel plans to face down.
An finish to the ruling coalition may but be precipitated by regional elections in three jap states within the autumn. Polls present the SPD is ready to carry out poorly.
Extra reporting by Peter Maushagen in Brussels; Enhancing by Gareth Jones