Who should be the next President of the European Commission? In the run-up to the 2019 European elections, we’ll be profiling the various Spitzenkandidaten (“lead candidates”) for the job. Next up is the candidate for the European People’s Party (EPP), Manfred Weber, Chair of the EPP Group in the European Parliament.

The EPP are a centre-right, Christian democratic party. Founded in 1976, they are currently the strongest political party in the European Parliament. The party is committed to European values and sees itself as one of the driving forces behind European integration.

Manfred Weber was born in 1972, in Niederhatzkofen, Lower Bavaria. He’s 46 years old, married, and a devout Catholic. He describes himself as a proud Bavarian with firms beliefs, for whom family is paramount. After graduating as an engineer, Weber dreamed of being his own boss, and founded two companies in the field of environmental quality management and occupational safety.

In addition to an entrepreneurial streak, Weber decided at a young age that his second passion was politics. Even as a 16-year-old, he was involved politically in the conservative “Junge Union Deutschlands” (Young Union of Germany), and from 2003 to 2007 was its regional chairman in Bavaria. At the age of 29, Weber joined the Bavarian State Parliament as its youngest member. Later, when he joined the European Parliament in 2004, Weber made a clear commitment to European politics, which he sees as “the future of politics par excellence”.

Weber is a committed pro-European. Although he is quick to emphasise that his region of Lower Bavaria is a key part of his identity and that he is a CSU man (a party that’s had a strained relationship with the European Union for quite some time), Europe has long been close to his heart.

Some have criticised his approach to Hungary’s Viktor Orbán. Amid heightened scrutiny of Hungary over allegations that civil rights and constitutional checks and balances were being eroded in the country, Weber defended Orbán and called for an end to the criticism, positioning himself as a “bridge builder” with the east. Weber did not back away from this position until September 2018, when the European Parliament voted in favour of a motion saying Hungary risked breaching fundamental EU values. Critics argue that Weber supported the motion knowing that to do otherwise would have hurt him politically.



65 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Christoph

    Not as long as Mr Orbán’s Fidesz party is part of the EPP.

    • avatar
      János

      I agree too !

  2. avatar
    Vasilis

    Are Britts still allowed to make commons about debating Europe?

    • avatar
      Dan

      Well if we are to have any sane and rational ‘commons’ on this site you’rd better hope they are.

    • avatar
      Dave

      Well you guys seem to be happy to comment about us soooooo yep😉

    • avatar
      Sinead

      Make comments by all means, sadly they will soon be totally meaningless & irrelevant.

  3. avatar
    Pedro

    Hardly a decent choice. There are much better people for the spot

  4. avatar
    Teresa

    Mai votare Wefer, anima nera del PPE e amico di Orban

  5. avatar
    Mathias

    Europe needs to move forward. Thats not really a conservative thing to do. We need progressive and liberal leadership in Europe

    • avatar
      Jan Winter

      EUrope doesn’t need to move anywhere. And certainly doesn’t need Africa to move to EUrope by the millions (thanks Mutti!).
      Is there really any appetite for EU as dirigist, centralist (federal in EU newspeak) superstate, where Germans and French are bossing everyone else? Why not ask the people first?

    • avatar
      Carlos

      We live in a democracy, so, so instead of bantering why do not you give reasons? Oh, and I hate him. But mocking political ideologies does not solve anything.

  6. avatar
    Michael

    I’m not a Christian, and I will never feel represented by any Christian party. I want to see a secular leadership.

  7. avatar
    Bella

    Definitely not! He fostered that the european union/ Commission will do nothing against orbans ‘ dedemocratization although the parliament voted for an intervention. This guy is purely anti-democratic. No matter from which party an anti-democratic spitzenkandidat comes from, you should not vote for him/her.

    • avatar
      Carlos

      Orban was elected. Respect what the Hungarian people did choose. If they want, they will change it. Stop looking at eastern Europe as something inferior.

    • avatar
      Bella

      I dont look at them As inferior, and I dont doubt that Orban wasnt elected, but the parliament of orban party undermined the rule of law and lames its justice, further it Uses autocratic methods to guide the media in their direction. All this is clearly against the rule of law which was put into law by the lisbon treaty. As poland was punished, so must be hungary, but it wont be because its part of the EPP and because manfred weber will refuse actively all already decided involvements and claims at the ECJ. The expression for that phenomen is “authoritarian equilibrium”. I dont care about countries of the spitzenkandidaten (manfred weber is a german as I am) but about democracy and manfred weber and the EPP does nothing to preserve the european union democratic.

    • avatar
      Juliette

      Well, in fact, he as EPP Group leader made a clear statement by voting in favour of article 7?

  8. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    As stated by the DE:

    * “Weber defended Orbán”! ….but later on…………….

    * “Weber did not back away from this position until September 2018, when the European Parliament voted in favour of a motion saying Hungary risked breaching fundamental EU values. Weber supported the motion, knowing that to do otherwise would have hurt him politically.”

    That is enough proof (to me) that NO EU politician- who so ever- is free of “EU conformity” and “EU prescribes= dictated politics”= “values”= “democratic dictatorship” but forced to join all other EU puppets & sell outs by betraying his conscience in order to remain EU pc to safeguard his job, existence & EU pension! Shame!

    ……….he should have either abstained or resigned!

    Sorry EPP & Mr. Weber- you messed up and can’t be called a true “pro European” (CoE49) by succumbing to the pressures of the political EU27!

    Further, it shows- ALL EU “Spitzenkanditaten” have to be CoE “sell outs”!

    What a waste holding EU elections without having a true alternative. Not for nothing called by many undemocratic, rigged & preempted- explaining the low turnout!

    Default position= “pro one party state”! Do not wonder!

  9. avatar
    Dan

    I’ve seen interviews with this guy before,he comes over as a right slimeball,a typically weak and spineless German politician who’ll tell anybody listening what he thinks they want to here.
    And anyway aren’t we getting a little ahead of ourselves here.This president election doesn’t take place until after the EU parliament elections,whose to say any of these nobodies will even be re-elected.

  10. avatar
    Juliette

    Yes, he’s the right guy.

  11. avatar
    EU Reform- Proactive

    Why do “strange” changes happen?

    Sorry DE, do you consider it fair & proper to “quietly” change/downgrade the original forum question (once published) from e.g. “Would you want Manfred Weber to be EU Commission President” to simple: “Who is Manfred Weber”?

    Has poor Mr. Weber been “downgraded” from a “Spitzen- ” to a “Sturzflug Kanditat”?

    Granted, we participate freely at our “own risk” in your EU sponsored club, under your whip & your private rules, but- under OUR watchful & critical eyes- remembering ALL- comes voting day!

  12. avatar
    S.A.M.

    Full support – he’s the right guy for Europe.

  13. avatar
    Rebecca Horst

    Ein starkes Europa durch Manfred Weber 👍

  14. avatar
    Paul

    He is the exactly right person for this job! I will vote for him!

  15. avatar
    Michaela Lochner

    Definitiv Daumen hoch für Manfred Weber! Ein Politiker, der zum nachdenken anregt und für Europa die richtigen Visionen hat!

  16. avatar
    KaZ

    Absolutely the right guy!
    I haven’t seen such a capable and down-to-earth politician like him for quite a while. – He is definitely Europe’s best choice!

  17. avatar
    Monika

    I think the best thing which could happen in the European Union at the current situation would be Manfred Weber elected as President of the European Commission! Sympathic, down-to-earth, highly qualified & giving his best for the EPP as well as having good political friends all over the EU – there is noone except him being in that luxurious situation as a politician and therefore the best choice for the EU!

  18. avatar
    Hermann

    Yes, the Best and only one for the Job

  19. avatar
    Hermann

    Yes, He is the Best and care about “little man”

  20. avatar
    Hipolit

    We need people of dialogue not those who look for division. Weber will open Brussels for citizens who don’t understand what EU means and how it benefits them. Hope for him to win this race.

  21. avatar
    Sonja

    Yes! Manfred Weber is definitely the best choice!

  22. avatar
    Isabella

    Yes, he is the best man for that! 👌🏻

  23. avatar
    Julia

    Yes definetly!!! Niemand setzt sich so sehr für den europäischen Gedanken ein wie Manfred Weber! Wir brauchen wieder mehr Politiker wie Weber die an eine starke Europäische Union glauben!

  24. avatar
    Thuy Tran

    Manfred Weber for president!!! He is the best choice!

  25. avatar
    Hofmann Tim-André

    Europe needs a strong leadership – Manfred Weber is definitely the right guy for this.

  26. avatar
    Theresa

    Manfred Weber ist der ideale Mann für Europa! Er ist durch und durch Europäer, er hat Visionen für die EU und er wird diese umsetzen. Manfred Weber ist sympathisch, bodenständig und kümmert sich um die „kleine Leute“. Er ist die beste Wahl für ein starkes Europa!

  27. avatar
    Pier

    Dato che si allea con liberali fiamminghi non prenderà mai voti.

  28. avatar
    Andreu

    Hmmmm… No! I’m not a bloody milionaire!

    • avatar
      Bella

      Nonsense

  29. avatar
    Carlos

    Considering that he is supporting the far-right candidate of the Spanish people’s party and that the idiot supports Spanish police veating Catalan voters in independence referendum, no. You can’t imagine how much I hate him.

  30. avatar
    Martina

    Who is He, does He stand for exiting it. What’s his background.

  31. avatar
    Colin

    Democratically elected would be a nice change. But that is not the EU way.

  32. avatar
    John

    Better that EU was disbanded…

  33. avatar
    Sophie

    Full support for Manfred Weber – he’s the right guy for Europe.

  34. avatar
    Melissa

    He is absolutely the right person for the job!

  35. avatar
    Martin Giftthaler

    Manfred Weber ist der richtige Mann für Europa. Nicht jemanden, der für technokratische Brüsseler Zentralisierung steht, sondern für ein Europa der Regionen. Der, stets dialogbereit und nicht ideologisch borniert, das Beste für Europa will, die Vielfalt der verschiedenen europäischen Kulturen schätzend und achtend. Den Wert dieser Vielfalt begreift nur, wer sich selbst wie er zu seiner Herkunft bekennt und seine Heimatregion hochschätzt.

  36. avatar
    Steve

    Yes, Manfred is perfect for this Job

  37. avatar
    Ines

    Na logisch, er ist der Richtige für dieses Amt!

  38. avatar
    dan

    Full support for Manfred Weber – he’s the best for Europe.

  39. avatar
    Philine

    Yes! He‘s definitely the right guy for Europe. Full support!!

  40. avatar
    Christoph

    I ll vote for him. 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

    • avatar
      EU Reform- Proactive

      Hi Christoph,

      For the records I chose to respond to you because you represent a section of voters on this forum (mainly German ones) who “support” Mr. Weber directly & unconditionally! So far- so good!

      But you clearly wrote: “I’ll vote for him.”

      You probably understand- that expression is wrong! You in Germany or others in other countries cannot! M.Weber was already “elected” EPP “Spitze”

      Further, with the departure of 73 British members, the MEPs and Council agreed to reduce the size of the EP from 751 to 705 seats for the 2019 elections. (math’s would dictate 678- why 705?) Agreed, politics is not based on simple math’s- but undergone “sophistical adjustments”- the “ Droop quota, d’Hondt system- more “skewed”!

      1st fact:

      The choice of the future EU president was in the hands of ~619/492 EPP delegates at a Congress in Helsinki in November 2018 rather than ~450 million Europeans or you.”

      https://www.epp.eu/press-releases/manfred-weber-elected-as-epp-candidate-for-the-president-of-the-european-commission/

      2nd fact:

      On 22 November 2012 the EP adopted a resolution urging the European political parties/coalitions to “NOMINATE candidates” (coined “Spitzenkanditaten”) for the position of President of the Commission, to reinforce the political “LEGITIMACY” of both Parliament and the Commission.”

      To spell it out:

      You may vote indirectly for the EPP block/grouping/coalitions in the EP at home choosing from “your national party list”:

      * if a German, your e.g national CDU/CSU party- being part of the EP/EPP coalition block- but not directly for Mr. Weber- who was/is already proposed & elected in Nov 2018 in Helsinki as EPP “Spitzenkanditat”- hailing from the German CDU!

      “Colin’s” comment- further up- is precise- yours & others not!

      http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/press-room/20190218IPR26703/first-seat-projections-for-the-next-european-parliament

  41. avatar
    Peter

    I do not trust the nationalists like Weber, Le Pen, etc., so I will rather vote for a more progressive group.

  42. avatar
    David Stiegeler

    Yes, because the European Commission has a democratic deficit. A member of parliament to become president of the commission would be a great sign for europe.

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