«I took office in 2019 because I firmly believe in Europe. For me, Europe is home" and "today, five years later, I make the very conscious and well-considered decision to run for a second term" at the helm of the European Commission. Ursula von der Leyen, at a press conference in Berlin with the president of the CDU Friedrich Merz, confirms that she is standing again as Spitzenkandidat for the EPP. «In these five years – he says – not only has my passion for Europe grown, but also my experience of what this Europe can achieve for its citizens».

The federal leadership of the CDU unanimously proposed von der Leyen's name in view of the congress of the European People's Party (EPP), scheduled for 6 and 7 March in Bucharest, when the candidacy will be made official. «The world today is completely different in 2019, we have been through a lot together in the last five years and I think we can say that we have achieved more than we could ever imagine», underlined von der Leyen, recalling that it was «five years as challenging as they are extraordinary", with the world and Europe having been overwhelmed by the Covid pandemic when she had been in office "for less than a hundred days" . «It was a bad time and we had to take completely new paths, but as a result we defeated the virus together. We overcame all this by joining forces" and "we managed to avoid a serious economic recession", highlighted the President of the European Commission.

«In the midst of economic recovery, Russia invaded Ukraine in the largest land war in Europe since 1945. The EU acted immediately and we have stood firmly by Ukraine from day one. Then Putin tried to bring us to our knees and has always tried to use oil and gas" as a weapon, von der Leyen added, indicating that even in this situation Europe has "maintained its position" and "overcome together the biggest energy crisis of the last forty years."

«The most important thing» for Europe «is democracy, the rule of law that we defend and the peace that we have together» and «the task of this electoral campaign» is «to make this clear to our adversaries, that is Putin and his friends, whether it is AfD, Marine Le Pen, Wilders, or other extreme forces hindering democracy in Europe. They want to destroy Europe", he concluded.


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