Ursula von der Leyen ALREADY under pressure – growing frustration in bloc with EU chief

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Some MEPs have complained the former German defence minister is not committed enough to the “European Green Deal” or crisis-proof EU budget that had been pledged. The European Parliament’s Greens contingent have accused her of lack of transparency with one suggesting she directed the Commission from a “bureaucratic bunker”. 

The EU needs a less emotive and vague description of the problem and more courageous action

Dennis Radtke

But among her harshest critics so far is a member of her own political party.

Christian Democrat (CDU) MEP Dennis Radtke said Ms von der Leyen did not live up to her claim to leadership.

Mr Radtke said although the EU President had campaigned for a balance between the economy and the environment, she had failed to follow it up with action.

And he dismissed as “empty words” Ms von der Leyen’s December 2019 claim that her European Green Deal was “Europe’s man-on-the-moon moment”.

He said: “The EU needs a less emotive and vague description of the problem and more courageous action.

“The existential fears of industrial workers, medium-sized companies and farmers are neglected by von der Leyen.

“She has not changed anything about her political style.

“Pithy and/or emotive headlines to the outside, lack of communication and distrust inwardly, garnished with the complete ignoring of the soul of her own political family.”

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The EU Commission advocates a reduction in CO2 emissions of at least 55 percent by 2030 but has yet to explain how this target will be reached.

The necessary EU laws are not expected to follow until next year and there is also the threat of a cut in EU funds for disadvantaged coal regions and a “just transition” to a climate-friendly economy.

Leaders of all EU-friendly parties, including the CDU, have spoken out against cuts and demanded more money.

They said Ms von der Leyen was not advocating a fair and climate-friendly EU budget.

And they said the slow processing of inquiries and requests for information from the European Parliament was causing massive frustration.

Green MEP Daniel Freund said: “The EU Commission under President Ursula von der Leyen has not yet shone in the area of transparency.

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“Access to information from the executive is essential for our work and the control function of Parliament.

“The EU Commission cannot use the coronavirus crisis to talk its way out it.

“Ms von der Leyen cannot have a serious interest in the commission being perceived from outside as a non-transparent, bureaucratic bunker.”

(Additional reporting by Monika Pallenberg)

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