Earlier today, Manfred Weber has announced his intention to be EPP lead candidate and next president of the European Commission.
The following is an article submitted for Corporate Dispatch.
Dear Readers of Corporate Dispatch,
Europe is at a turning point – next May, the European elections will decide the future of the European Union, the people will decide.
Europe and we Europeans are being challenged from the outside. We Europeans and what we stand for are being attacked from the inside by radicals, nationalists and anti-Europeans. Concurrently, the whole world is in deep transition; digitalisation, globalisation, migration, demographic development!
Europe needs a new plan.
I am firmly convinced that today it is about the self-assertion of Europe and the defence of our values – it is about the survival of our European way of life.
One important step to tackle these challenges is the nomination of a top candidate from my party in November in Helsinki. Over the last few weeks I have had many conversations, especially with the colleagues from my group and the leaders of the EPP parties in Europe. And I was always asking myself: Can I master the challenges, can I contribute?
My answer is yes, I am ready for it.
I believe that I can help to kick start a new beginning and a new chapter for Europe – this is so urgently needed because we cannot go on like we are now. People expect us to lead the way towards a better Europe, towards an ambitious Europe. To do so, I believe we have to keep the European Union together.
We have a great responsibility to avoid that Europe is split between East and West, rich and poor, small and large countries. If this happens, this would be the end of the European Union.
I want to bring together the interests, build bridges – only together can we be strong – otherwise Europe has no chance in today’s world.
I see myself as a European politician, I am committed to Europe and to all citizens of Europe. For me, the team comes first, I will listen and lead – that’s what I do as group leader and I will continue to do so in the future.
I want to give Europe back to the people. As it is, the EU is seen too much as a bureaucratic and elite structure.
Four years ago we made the first step and I will continue to strengthen democracy in Europe and in the EU Institutions. I see myself first of all as a representative of the people, I am elected as an MEP, as a Parliamentarian – I want to re-establish the bond between citizens and the European Union.
This is why it was important for me to announce my decision today first of all in the EPP Group, at the heart of European democracy, in the European Parliament. Yesterday my party in Bavaria, the CSU, officially nominated me – today I declared my readiness to my group.
I want to be the EPP’s lead candidate for the 2019 European elections and the next President of the European Commission.