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Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under intense scrutiny once again

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under intense scrutiny once again, facing accusations of favoritism and cronyism following her controversial appointment of Markus Pieper, a fellow German Christian Democrat, as a consultant for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) within the EU. The decision to appoint Pieper, reportedly at a monthly salary of 20,000 euros, has sparked outrage among top Commissioners and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs), who question the transparency and impartiality of the process.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is under intense scrutiny once again

Four Commissioners—Joseph Borel, Thierry Breton, Paolo Gentiloni, and Nicolas Schmidt—issued a joint letter urging von der Leyen to reconsider Pieper's appointment, expressing concerns about the fairness of the selection process. According to critics, Pieper, aged 60, was deemed less qualified than other candidates, such as Martina Dlabajova from the Czech Republic and Anna Stellinger from Sweden, yet was favored due to his party affiliation with the CDU.

The appointment has stirred controversy not only due to Pieper's alleged lack of qualifications but also because of the lucrative contract offered to him by von der Leyen.

With a budgetary cost totaling 1.44 million euros over four years, MEPs from various political groups have condemned what they perceive as favoritism based on party allegiance. Green MEP Daniel Freud accused von der Leyen of utilizing the appointment to secure support within her own party, the CDU, for her role as the European People's Party's Spitzenkandidat in the European elections.

The outcry surrounding Pieper's appointment has led to widespread criticism of von der Leyen's leadership, with some labeling the scandal as "PieperGate." Observers argue that von der Leyen's involvement in such controversies undermines her position as Commission President, with calls for greater transparency and accountability in future appointments.

The European Parliament is set to review Pieper's appointment in the coming days, with MPs from several political parties proposing to annul the decision. Instead, they advocate for a transparent and open selection process for EU representatives, emphasizing the need to eliminate any perception of favoritism or political bias.


This latest scandal adds to a series of controversies surrounding von der Leyen's leadership, raising doubts about her suitability for a second term. Investigations by the European Public Prosecutor's Office into possible criminal conduct related to COVID-19 vaccine procurement agreements further compound the challenges facing von der Leyen's presidency. Concerns have been raised regarding her handling of negotiations with pharmaceutical companies, including Pfizer, prompting scrutiny from European oversight bodies.

As von der Leyen faces mounting criticism and calls for accountability, the future of her presidency hangs in the balance, with the need for greater transparency and ethical governance at the forefront of European discourse.



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