French President Emmanuel Macron has backed the candidacy of former Italian Prime Minister and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi for the post of new European Commission chief after June’s EU elections. This was reported by the Roman daily “La Repubblica”, which referred to diplomatic circles in Brussels and Paris. Observers see the candidacy of ‘Supermario’ Draghi as a declaration of war on right-wing populist parties.
Macron also discussed the possible candidacy of former ECB boss Draghi with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, the newspaper reported. The current head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, could take over the leadership of NATO as secretary general.
Macron’s positioning is not without a certain spice, as Von der Leyen is seen as the French president’s European policy invention. After the 2019 European elections, he opposed the informal EU leadership candidate system and prevented the appointment of EPP candidate Manfred Weber as President of the Commission in the Council of Heads of State and Government. Instead, his fellow countryman and party member Von der Leyen came into the game.
Von der Leyen has so far kept a low profile about her ambitions for a new term at the head of the Brussels EU authority. Unlike Draghi, she comes from the EU’s largest parliamentary group, the European People’s Party (EPP), and can probably count on their support. Due to its decisive course of supporting Ukraine against Russian aggression, the country became the enemy of choice of many right-wing populist parties, which are said to be close to Russia.
Draghi ‘concerned’ about the future of Europe
Draghi’s candidacy could defuse the issue of the war in Ukraine in the European election campaign. The question is whether the 76-year-old would even be willing to take on the top position in the EU. It was only in September that he was commissioned by Von der Leyen to prepare a report on the future of European competitiveness and to present his ideas on the future development of the Union.
Draghi recently expressed his “concerns” about the future of Europe and stressed that the EU is at a “critical moment”. “Our previous growth model has been solved. We need to invent a new way of growing, but for that we need to become one country. The European market is too small, there are many markets, and that is why the small companies that start in Europe often move to the US when they grow or close,” explains Draghi, who will be Italy’s Prime Minister between 2021 and 2022. . Previously, he was governor of the Italian central bank (2005-2011) and head of the ECB (2011-2019). He acquired a great political reputation through his decisive course in the euro crisis.
“Everything in Europe is too fragmented”
As Draghi continued, the EU made a “colossal mistake” in the 1990s when its rules were not changed and everything remained as it was when the EU consisted of twelve member states. “Everything in Europe is too fragmented. “Even very simple things – and even the regulation of the internal market is fragmented,” he criticized.
The Rome resident complained that Europe was suffering from “decision paralysis.” This paralysis has been made worse by the European elections next spring.
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