Efforts on for centrist alliance amid far-right surge

European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen (AFP image)

Brussels: European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen began trying to piece together a coalition on Monday after the far right surged in a European Parliament election.
Von der Leyen, the German president of the EU’s powerful executive body, emerged strengthened from the four-day election across 27 countries, as her centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) gained seats.
But to secure a second five-year term, von der Leyen needs the support of a majority of the EU’s national parties and a working majority in the European Parliament. Provisional results on Monday gave the main parties that backed von der Leyen last time – the EPP, socialists and liberals – a total of 402 seats in the 720-member chamber. But that is regarded as too tight a majority for comfort. So von der Leyen may also reach out to the Greens, who suffered heavy losses, and Italy’s nationalist PM Giorgia Meloni, with whom she has worked closely.
She said she aims to work with those who are “pro-European, pro-Ukraine and pro-rule of law” – a description she said applies to Meloni’s Brothers of Italy but not to some other far-right parties.


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