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Germany: Merkel criticises treatment of EU Commission nominee von der Leyen by MEPs

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticised the way that the nominee to become the next European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, was treated in Brussels on Wednesday, while speaking at a press conference alongside newly elected Danish Prime Minster Mette Frederiksen, in Berlin, on Thursday.

“I want to clearly say that the coalition partners don’t act in concert and it is very important – here I agree with the SPD leadership – that the personality of Ursula von der Leyen is regarded respectfully. And some things that happened yesterday in Brussels, I would not put into this category,” Merkel said.

Von der Leyen, who is currently Germany’s defence minister, failed to secure the backing of the European Parliament’s Greens grouping, despite putting the fight against climate change at the core of her pitch to EU lawmakers on Wednesday.

Speaking alongside Merkel, Frederiksen expressed her support for the German candidate.

“I can add that as a Social Democrat myself I support Ursula von der Leyen as the new EU Commission President and I think, what we have achieved in Brussels last week is a good overall result,” she added.

The Danish leader also mentioned the issue of migration, warning that it has to be addressed at a European level both by supporting the African countries’ economies and by strengthening European borders.

Frederiksen, who is in Berlin for bilateral talks with Merkel, is on her first official visit to another country since becoming Prime Minister on June 26th, 2019.

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