Terry Reintke top contender to lead European, German Greens in EU election
Co-president of the Greens group in the EU Parliament, Terry Reintke, is the top contender to lead the German and European Greens into the EU election, which would put her in the race to become European Commission president.
Most parties in Germany have already decided who they will send into the election race. Still, the German Greens will only decide on their top candidate in November, so it’s “not completely decided yet”, Reintke told Euractiv.
However, “It looks very likely that I’m going to be the lead candidate in Germany,” she added.
Reintke is also eyeing the position of lead candidate (spitzenkandidat) for the European Green Party (EGP), making her a contender to become European Commission president.
“This is definitely something that tempts me (…) it is certainly something that I have an interest in,” she said, adding that her CV and ‘where my heart lies in politics’ clearly sets a path towards being “a European politician”.
The spitzenkandidat process allows European political parties to internally elect a leader of their EU election campaign, who will become a candidate for the role of president of the European Commission. She has until the 28 of November to present her candidacy, but she plans to take a decision “in the course of the next month for sure.”
“I’m soon going to take a decision because I think that if I run, I should inform the member parties of the EGP soon,” Reintke said.
Reintke is well-connected in Brussels. After Ska Keller – who led the European Greens into the 2019 election – stepped down as co-president of the group, Reintke assumed the role in October.
The European Green Party will have two spitzenkandidaten to ensure gender balance. A possible male candidate could be Green MEP Ernest Urtasun, the spokesperson of Spain’s leftist coalition Sumar.
However, the Spitzenkandidat system is under question as after the 2019 elections, EU countries overrode the candidates in favour of an outsider, with some people now considering it a symbol of European democracy rather than a functional appointment process.
While former Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker was nominated under the spitzenkandidat system as the ‘top candidate’ of the European People’s Party (EPP), his successor, Ursula von der Leyen, was selected by EU leaders behind closed doors in 2019.
(Max Griera | Euractiv.com – additional reporting from Oliver Noyan | Euractiv.de)