As the balloting approached yesterday evening, it was still impossible to know whether she would succeed. It was a close call in the end, but the European Parliament elected Ursula von der Leyen as the next President of the European Commission.
During a press conference following the vote in Strasbourg, Fidesz MEP Balázs Hídvéghi said that the small majority of just nine votes in favor of the German politician shows that those thirteen Fidesz-KDNP votes in her favor were indeed vital for securing the EU’s top job. Unlike Manfred Weber, von der Leyen accepted the support of Hungarians and rose to victory.
“With the new leader there is a chance for a more balanced, more rational European Union policy,” Hídvéghi said, adding that while the Fidesz-KDNP EP Delegation has faith in von der Leyen, they also have concrete expectations. This means that the incoming Commission President will be held accountable to respect the will of the Hungarian people.
In the May EP elections, the Hungarian people made it clear that they want EU leaders who will put an end to migration, respect Central European countries and refrain from violating member state sovereignty. At the same time, MEP Hídvéghi said, future EU leaders need to understand that regional development and agriculture funds “are not alms”, but “support that Member States are entitled to and conducive to the success of the European Union.”
In curbing migration, the new European Commission President will also have to play a leading role in establishing stronger European borders and developing a culture where the states that undertake vast border protection efforts are rewarded rather than punished.
Ursula von der Leyen prevailed by only a thin margin, one that she wouldn’t have had without the support of Fidesz-KDNP and, of course, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. But Hungary’s ongoing support is not unconditional: we have definite expectations of the new EC President and we will look out for the interests of the Hungarian people every step of the way.