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Manfred Weber deserved to win the EPP election in Helsinki

Added 11/9/2018
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Manfred Weber from the Bavarian CSU rightfully became the new leader, the so-called “Spitzenkandidat” of the European People’s Party. He won not because he is German, but because he was simply better. And he was better in many ways.

The first reason: He has long been able to cherish the position of a politician who does not prioritize his political interests above the agreement of the group. He could have been the President of the European Parliament in the spring 2016. But at the end he decided to support the Italian candidate Antonio Tajani, who backed his support in the negotiations with a clear support to be the Spitzenkandidat. Fairness of Mr. Weber was also acknowledged by support of the Spanish, Portuguese, French, Poles and other delegations.

The second reason. If Alexander Stubb or someone else really had seriously considered the candidacy, they would not have left their candidacy till the last moment. Mr. Weber has systematically been working on his candidacy for the last two years. He was visiting the campaigns, attended party congresses and spoke to the heads of the individual countries. Unfortunately, Mr. Stubb was not doing this and could not do it. Until September almost no one knew about him.

Third reason. Alex Stubb is definitely a thoughtful and charismatic politician. But, for example in discussions about solutions of migration or when discussing the necessary changes in the functioning of the EU, he simply lacked experience. When Mr. Weber talked about migration, he talked about how he wanted to address it. He did not downplay the arguments of Central and Eastern European states.

Fourth reason. A number of journalists have stated that in the election, the fact that Mr. Weber is more of a conservative, and that Mr. Stubb is more of a liberal shall play a big role. But according to me, this did not play any role. A number of colleagues, who belong to the liberal wing of the EPP, voted for Manfred Weber. The main reason was that Mr. Weber simply acted as a common guy who responded directly and clearly. He did not pretend anything, he did not exaggerate anything. He spoke briefly but clearly.
Mr. Weber now has six months to persuade the European Union that he will be a tough and decisive leader who can find the medicine for the ill European Union. If he succeeds, the next leader of the European Commission will be a man who understands Czechs as no President of the European Commission ever before.
I wish you a very nice day!

Tomáš Zdechovský, MEP