PN MEPs support von der Leyen; PL still undecided

FILE PHOTO: German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated as European Commission President, briefs the media after the Conference of Presidents of European Parliament's party blocs in Brussels, Belgium, July 10, 2019. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

Malta’s Nationalist Party MEPs in the European Parliament have said that they would support the appointment of Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission, while Labour’s MEPs are still undecided.

Attending the event at Europe House were the MEPs Roberta Metsola, Alex Agius Saliba and Josianne Cutajar. PN MEP David Casa provided a video comment saying that he would be, ‘giving his support to Ursula von der Leyen.’

Taking a question from Newsbook.com.mt Roberta Metsola explained that she supported the European Council’s package which will progress the European Parliament forward in the next two and a half years.

In addition, it was learned that if there is no clear Parliament majority for von der Leyen, there might have to be another vote in September. This could result in the European Commission’s work being delayed until February 2020.

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In response to questions about the package, Labour’s new MEPs did not commit themselves to supporting it unless it was agreed by the heads of the European heads of state including the Maltese Prime Minister.

Agius Saliba explained that he was satisfied with von der Leyen’s environment portfolio but not with her answers regarding immigration, when speaking with the S&D Parliamentary Group. He said that he would be deciding next week in Strasbourg, following other meetings. On the other hand, Cutajar said she would be seeking clarification from von der Leyen on the consolidation of the Spitzenkandidat process.

The activity was held at Europe House in Valletta this morning and hosted by Anna Zammit, the Acting Head of the European Parliament Office in Malta. Zammit said the office was waiting the outcome of the vote of the European Commission presidency vote. She added that there is still uncertainty about whether Ursula Von Der Leyen will get enough votes from the European Parliament despite her nomination having been confirmed by the European Council.

The discussion was moderated by Rachel Attard.

Newsbook.com.mt will keep you updated on the outcome of the vote in the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday 16 July.