Brexit Party Member Says Pro-EU Lawmakers Ceded Spitzenkandidat System For 'Backroom' Deal
BRUSSELS (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 18th July, 2019) European parliament lawmakers supporting further EU centralization yielded to a "backroom" stitch-up and gave up the spitzenkandidat, or lead candidate, system by backing Ursula von der Leyen's candidacy for European Commission president, Matthew Patten, a European Parliament member from the Brexit Party, told Sputnik on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the European Parliament approved Germany's former Defense Minister von der Leyen as the new president of the European Commission in a 383-327 vote. Some critics of Von der Leyen's nomination have reportedly branded it as a "backroom" deal between Germany and France.
"The bluff of the European Parliament has been called and it folded. After preening about the federalist spitzenkandidat process and opposition to a backroom stitch-up, the pro-EU MEPs rolled over and capitulated," Patten said.
In her address to the European Parliament, von der Leyen promised a "green deal for Europe" and put forward an idea of ending EU member states' veto on foreign policy and moving to a qualified majority voting instead.
"The theme all the way through is that 'the world needs more Europe,' now we know from Britain's point of view that 17.4 million people said the last thing we need is more Europe. Her speech had the smell of a rather desperate plea to MEPs," Patten underlined.
Von der Leyen is set to take office on November 1, replacing incumbent European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker.