Wheeler-dealing wins out in fight to shape the EU

Wheeler-dealing wins out in fight to shape the EU View Gallery
Charles Michel

The surprise appointment of the German defence minister to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president will do nothing to reassure those who accuse the EU of being undemocratic and unaccountable

Ursula who? Von der Leyen? What? The name that emerged from the 48-hour fog of negotiations on who should lead the European Commission blindsided even the most intimate Brussels insiders.

Ursula von der Leyen, German defence minister and loyalist of Chancellor Angela Merkel, had not even been rumoured as a potential successor to European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, never mind campaigning for the job.

The nomination is a reminder that the EU is a work...

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