What a second term in office with von der Leyen could mean
What a second term in office with von der Leyen could mean

19 February 2024 – EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is openly considering a second term in office. But apart from favoritism, billions for consultants, accusations of corruption and a lack of transparency, what else is left? And in Asia, the Year of the Dragon has begun and the markets are back.

Favoritism and billions for consultants – what a second term in office would mean with von der Leyen

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hinted at the Munich Security Conference that she would like to run for a second term as EU Commission President. This candidacy could become official today, Monday, if Ms. von der Leyen and the German CDU presidium reach an agreement.

European SMEs are de facto disadvantaged

A second term in office for Ms. von der Leyen, really? We think this is highly questionable. After all, Ms. von der Leyen has proven to date that she pursues a policy of favouritism to a high degree. And although she comes from a member state that is build on traditional SMEs, under her leadership almost exclusively decisions have been made that benefit large corporations and lobbyists and disadvantage or equalize the SME sector.

More than 2 billion euros for external consultants

She has continued her personal trend of relying on external consultants, which includes the EY auditors who came to light in the Wirecard scandal and were severely punished in 2023, as well as the other three of the BIG 4, since the beginning of her term of office in 2019. The Commission has spent more than two billion euros per year on consultants since 2020. Entire regulations, such as CBAM, have been and continue to be fundamentally developed by external consultants.

The fact that Ms. von der Leyen exaggerated this excessively even before her term as Commission President is well known, at least since her time as German Federal Minister of Defence. Her behavior towards the German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch during her time as German Minister also clearly showed that it is better not to get into trouble with her, especially when companies do not dance to her tune.

And it even turned out afterwards that the accusations and quality problems she had made did not exist. Only she herself knows why she did this, but everyone is invited to have their own thoughts on the matter.

Deleted SMS and the 35 billion euro vaccine scandal

The European Public Prosecutor’s Office has been investigating the Commission’s procurement of the coronavirus vaccine for 15 months and the outcome is expected in the first months of 2024. Trade expert and lobbyist Frederic Baldan has filed a criminal complaint with the Belgian judiciary against von der Leyen on charges of corruption and document destruction in connection with the €35 billion mega-deal and the SMS.

Von der Leyen refuses insight into the course of talks

According to the European Court of Auditors’ report, von der Leyen personally arranged the mega-deal for up to 1.8 billion Biontech vaccine doses for 35 billion euros – in confidential preliminary negotiations with the head of the US pharmaceutical company Pfizer, Albert Bourla, in spring 2021, which the auditors found did not comply with the rules. However, von der Leyen herself refused to give the Court of Auditors insight into the discussions.

Moral authority already at an end

So how can it be that the self-proclaimed moral authority of Europe is deliberately deleting messages about a deal that involved more than 35 billion euros and is said to have been the largest in the history of the EU? A medium-sized managing director would have to fear a prison sentence for this, at least in Germany.

But how can a second term in in office be explained to the voters?

How anyone can knowingly elect such a person as Commission President is beyond us. We therefore expressly warn against a second term of office for such a person.

Chinese New Year ends, Asian stock markets positive

At the end of today’s Stainless Espresso, however, we would like to start the Year of the Dragon on a positive note. The Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year, came to an end last weekend. Commodity markets in Asia started the Year of the Dragon on a stable to positive note. The major stock markets were largely positive and up today.

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