BERLIN — Ursula von der Leyen will most likely announce her candidacy for a second term as European Commission president on February 19 in Berlin, according to two people familiar with the German politician’s plans.
That day, the party chairmanship of von der Leyen’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) meets in the German capital, where it is expected to officially endorse her nomination as center-right lead candidate for the European Parliament elections in June, according to the people, who were granted anonymity to discuss confidential plans.
The CDU’s pan-European party family, the European People’s Party (EPP), will need to confirm von der Leyen’s nomination at a party congress in Bucharest on March 6-7, although this is seen as a formality given the political weight of the CDU and the absence of other EPP candidates.
As lead candidate, or “Spitzenkandidat,” von der Leyen would be spearheading the EPP’s election campaign, even though she’s not running for a seat in the European Parliament. Instead, von der Leyen would run to get re-appointed as Commission chief from 2024-2029 — a decision that’s being taken by EU leaders but needs to be confirmed by a vote in the Parliament.
A CDU spokesperson said: “I can confirm that a party chairmanship meeting is planned for February 19th,” but declined to comment further. A spokesperson for von der Leyen could not be reached for a comment.
CDU party leader Friedrich Merz already said last year that he wants von der Leyen to run for a second mandate as Commission president.
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