Ursula von der Leyen, the outgoing German defence minister, has been appointed, not elected, the new European Commission President. After three days of talks held in secret, 28 politicians nominated the Christian Democrat as part of an overall appointments package they agreed early this month.

EU leaders rejected all the MEPs’ candidates for the commission post. Many MEPs were angry that none of their proposed candidates were picked for the job. “This backroom stich-up after days of talks is grotesque,” said Greens group leader Ska Keller, describing the nomination process as ‘party power games’. “After such a high turnout in the European elections and a real mandate for change, this is not what European citizens deserve,” said Keller.

Under the deal, EU leaders appointed Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as the new President of the European Council and the Italian MEP David Sassoli as the new President of the European Parliament. EU leaders have put forward France’s Christine Lagarde as head of the European Central Bank.

Spanish politician Josep Borrell Fontelles is their nominee to run the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy. He has said: “We propose an institutional structure for the EU which converts it into a Federation of States based on the principle of the division of labour.” He wants the European Commission to become the ‘Government of the Union’. He wants a new Chamber of the States, an appointed Senate which would choose a ‘Head of State’. He wants the European Court of Justice to become the ‘Constitutional Court’ and the EU budget to be increased and raised in part from direct EU taxation.

And yet, even after this backroom stitch-up by the EU establishment, some still say we are wrong to call the EU undemocratic!

Will Podmore

Clavering Road, Wanstead