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The European Commission trusts Spain to preside over the EU despite the elections while the PP attacks the Government

There is no problem for the European Commission that Spain hold general elections as soon as the semester in which it will hold the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU begins. “Absolute normality”, said Pedro Sánchez, for his part, at a press conference together with the president of the community government, Ursula von der Leyen, in which the German has shown herself confident that the country will do an “effective” job ”. In order not to get into trouble with the Electoral Board, the President of the Government did not even want to answer a question about the rise of the extreme right in Europe while the PP, which this Saturday promised to act with “loyalty”, has attacked the Government for what he considers to have been a meeting “tarnished by the record of absences of commissioners.”

Counter-summits: mobilizations for more green agenda and against the rise of the ultra-right in the presidency of the EU

Counter-summits: mobilizations for more green agenda and against the rise of the ultra-right in the presidency of the EU


The European Commission has landed in Madrid this Monday to participate in the traditional meeting with the Government that assumes the rotating presidency of the EU. The appointment had to be brought forward a few days so that it did not coincide with the start of the electoral campaign and a dozen commissioners have not attended the meeting that has been held in the Royal Collections Gallery and which is followed by a reception by King Felipe VI in the Royal Palace.

The PP has taken advantage of this situation to charge against the Executive. “It is a very lackluster visit due to the record of absences of commissioners,” said Esteban González Pons, deputy secretary and MEP of the PP. The popular leader has attributed these absences to the fact that “the majority do not want to be used in the Pedro Sánchez campaign.” “We are the country that fewer commissioners go to when the Presidency starts,” González Pons insisted in a video released by the party. The questioning of the results of the meeting occurs two days after the leader of the PP, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, assured that his party would act with “loyalty” during the semester.

Most of the commissioners who have not attended Madrid had agenda issues. The vice president for the Green Pact, Frans Timmermans, is in China while the heads of the Single Market and Agriculture, Thierry Breton and Janusz Wojciechowski, respectively, are in Tokyo. The Vice President for Interinstitutional Relations, Maroš Šefčovič, who has been in charge of steering Brexit, participates in a Parliamentary Assembly in the United Kingdom and the Justice Commissioner, Didier Reynders, at the launch of the Center for the Prosecution of Crimes in Ukraine which has been held in The Hague. The person in charge of the Environment, Virginijus Sinkevičius, who has been attacked by the European PP for his warnings about Doñana, had a meeting about North Macedonia, and the Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has stayed in her country to hold several meetings with employers and Danish sectors. The Health Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides, and the Enlargement and Neighborhood Commissioner, Olivér Várhelyi, have not attended without any activity on the European Commission calendar.

Despite the pre-electoral environment in which the appointment was held and that the presidency will inevitably be marked by what happens in the elections -either it will be piloted by a government in office until it is formally constituted or there is a change of color -, Von der Leyen has assured that it will not affect. “Regardless of the outcome of the elections, I trust that the Government of Spain and the Spanish institutions are capable of an effective presidency and I trust in the European spirit of Spain”, asserted the head of the community executive, who has recognized that the EU is finds itself at a “crunch time” as the end of the mandate approaches. Thus, she has put some figures on the table: of the 250 proposals that Brussels has made since 2019, two thirds have finished their journey while a third remains pending.

That is why Sánchez has promised that the intention of the Government is to speed up some of these files. “This is not the first time that elections have been held during the presidency of a country”, he responded to the question of whether the elections could negatively affect that performance: “Spain has accumulated experience in preparing the presidencies that it will do that these dossiers and debates advance and can be closed in our presidency”.

Von der Leyen: “Extremists of the right and left fear the changes”

Among the negotiations that Spain will have to lead are the fiscal rules with which Brussels intends to recover financial orthodoxy or the review of the Multiannual Financial Framework, in addition to legislation to deal with foreign economic competition or the regulatory change to accelerate the production of ammunition bound for Ukraine. But the issue that has been most present this Monday has been the Migration and Asylum Pact, one of the most divisive in the EU and which featured in the meeting of the leaders of the 27 last week, when Poland and Hungary blocked some very generic conclusions on the matter to make clear their rejection of the position agreed by the interior ministers with a view to negotiations with the European Parliament and the Commission.

“We will work to make it a balanced agreement”, Sánchez defended at the press conference in which he insisted on the need to take into account the external dimension of migration, which is the only thing the 27 agree on, that are heading more and more towards ‘Fortress Europe’. “We want to get closer from a constructive point of view to close a positive agreement”, he pointed out.

Sánchez and Von der Leyen have avoided any type of institutional conflict given the proximity of the elections. The Spaniard has not even wanted to reflect on the rise of the extreme right while the German has answered the question. At a time when the PP at a European level has broken the sanitary cordon to the extreme right (in Italy they are part of Giorgia Meloni’s Executive and have relied on these forces in countries like Sweden and Finland, Von der Leyen has stated that “extremists, left or right, look back and fear any kind of change.” “We, the core of the democratic group, must show that we have clear ideas about how to deal with the changes that are taking place.”

The President of the European Commission has made special reference to the climate emergency, and also to issues such as technology, which are, she said, “challenges” that must become “opportunities”. “We have a clear idea of ​​what is happening. Climate change is a fact, we have an idea and a vision of how to deal with it”, defended the German at a time when the green agenda has become one of the new dividing points on the continent as it has caused enormous discomfort in some economic sectors, especially agriculture, which denounce the suffocation of the industry due to the promotion of ecological laws. Agrarian protests are running through half of Europe and the rise of the parties that defend the interests of farmers (which have become the leading force in the Dutch elections) have led the EPP to reconsider its position, distance itself from Brussels and, together with the extreme right wing and some liberal MEPs, intend to knock down a nature restoration law, which proposes the recovery of ecosystems by 2050.

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Written by Editor TLN

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