EU Commission head von der Leyen unimpressed by far-right parties' gains

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Monday appeared unimpressed by the gains made by far-right parties in the EU elections.

At a press conference on Monday at Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party headquarters in Berlin alongside CDU Chair Friedrich Merz, von der Leyen acknowledged “that the extremes on the right and the left have gained support.”

But she added: “There is still a majority for a strong Europe in the middle of the political spectrum. In other words, the center has held."

Von der Leyen hailed the results of Sunday's EU elections as a success for the European People's Party (EPP), the bloc the German CDU is part of.

“We ran with a good program, we presented a united front, we resolutely defended our positions and the voters rewarded that,” she said.

She added: “We all want a strong Europe that is capable of acting. In these turbulent times, we need continuity. We want to continue on this path with all those who are pro-European, pro-Ukraine, and pro the rule of law."

Asked by a journalist about the far-right parties’ electoral success, the EU Commission head reiterated her position that “there has been an increase in the far right, but also on the left.”

“But the gains have not been as great as expected,” she continued.

In order to curb the electoral success of the “extremes,” it was necessary to “look at where the issues are, where the problems are, where the crises are and then deliver,” she added.

Von der Leyen is hoping for a second term as EU Commission president. However, she did not comment on her reelection ambitions at the press conference.

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