A basic principle of democracy is for parties to put forward their programmes and candidates so voters can decide which policies and which leaders they want to put in place. This applies to every level: local, regional, national and European.

We in the EPP are proud to have put forward a clear programme and candidate for President of the European Commission. It was our candidate, Manfred Weber, who led our EPP campaign for the European elections. It was he who campaigned alongside our member parties as our transparently and democratically chosen candidate for President of the European Commission. And it is he, therefore, who now stands with our elected EPP Group members — the biggest Group by far in the European Parliament — as the lead candidate most supported by European voters. Manfred Weber has a democratic mandate and the democratic legitimacy to become next President of the European Commission.

A new poll by Ipsos clearly shows that citizens in 7 countries overwhelmingly agree: the lead candidate process should be respected by the Council. Voters support a clearer sense of greater parliamentary democracy in Europe: the decision for Commission president should reflect the results of the European elections.

We don’t want to go back to a time when EU leadership was decided simply by an opaque process of backroom deals. Citizens have asked us for more transparency and accountability in European democracy. Let’s deliver on this by first of all respecting their votes in these 2019 European elections.