Well, good luck then, Madame President!

I did not support Ursula von der Leyen’s candidacy for President of the European Commission. As I explained in my earlier posts, I don’t think it’s acceptable for European government and state leaders to make a secret deal above the European people’s heads, contrary to what they’ve been promising for so many years. I wasn’t alone with my doubts: von der Leyen got elected with a very narrow margin; with 383 yes, 327 no and 22 abstentions, so she barely cleared the threshold by just a few votes. Although several of the large European political families promised to support her, most Socialists didn’t vote for her and perhaps nor did some of her own people, the MEPs of the European People’s Party. We will never know.

What we do know is that now we have a leader with a weak legitimacy, who got elected through compromises and was supported by certain forces she’s likely to conduct a campaign against in the next five years, unless she backtracks on her promises.

Despite my reservations about the methods, I do agree with many elements in von der Leyen’s programme: yes, the European Union should be more democratic. Yes, we should step up against such authoritarian rulers as Viktor Orbán and hold them to account for disrespecting European values. Yes, we should build a stronger, safer, better Europe.

I hope that von der Leyen will be able to bridge the gap between her grand vision and her weak legitimacy, and she will be able to say no to the anti-European politicians who perhaps will soon line up at her doorstep to claim what they think they are owed. I sincerely hope so.

I did not support Ursula von der Leyen but now it’s our common interest for her to succeed. I honestly root for her because Europe doesn’t belong to backroom dealers and certainly not to increasingly isolated hysterio-politicians such as Viktor Orbán. Europe belongs to us, to the people who live here. I wish for Ursula von der Leyen to make Europe successful, including Hungary.

I will also use my own means to achieve this goal; the vision that is the Europe of the people and a safe, reliable Hungary.

Madame President, I wish you a lot of success and endurance!


Márton Gyöngyösi