Ursula von der Leyen urged to resign by Estonian MEP
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Ursula von der Leyen faced calls to immediate resign this week as MEPs turned on Brussels’ chaotic leadership. Dozens of MEPs also called on Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, to resign after being “humiliated” during a diplomatic trip to Moscow. One Estontian MEP Jaak Madison told the European Parliament that “there is no other solution than that the President of the Commission has to resign”.
Mr Madison accused the EU of “enjoying the coronavirus crisis” as he suggested that Brussels was exploiting it as a power-grab opportunity.
He said: “In order to solve the economic crisis, the European Commission’s ingenious solution is to take on huge joint debt, the real reason for which is the desire to move towards taxes across the EU.
“The question is whether the EU is enjoying the ongoing crisis as it is an excuse to offer a solution to the member states which is the granting of even great powers to the EU.
“Given this incompetence and confusion, the EU is an over-regulated organism imbued with bureaucracy. It is absolutely unable to deal with crisis.”
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He also lashed out at the EU’s struggling vaccine rollout programme, pointing out that the UK is vaccinating at a rate five times higher than the EU average.
Other MEPs this week also accused EU diplomat Mr Borrell of having been outplayed by Russia’s foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.
More than 70 MEPs have signed a letter demanding his immediate resignation.
Mr Madison remarked: “To top it all off, the European Commission is also unable to cope with foreign policy as evidenced by Borrel making a fool of himself and allowing the Russian foreign minister to mock him.”
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“We will have a common foreign policy but our foreign policy will be dictated by Germany and France.”
Dacian Cioloș, a Romanian MEP and leader of the centrist Renew group, said the Moscow visit had “sadly had a negative impact on the credibility of the EU in the diplomatic sector”.
Dutch Socialist MEP Kati Piri said Moscow had “abused” the visit “to humiliate and offend the EU”.
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During her own speech, Ms von der Leyen admitted that “we are still not where we want to be” in terms of vaccine rollout.
She said: “We were late to authorize. We were too optimistic when it came to massive production.
“And perhaps we were too confident that what we ordered would actually be delivered on time.”
The European Commission chief added that she “deeply regretted” that “mistakes were made” in the Commission’s failed attempt to override a crucial part of the Brexit deal following a fight over the supply of vaccines.
Ms von der Leyen did not comment on the criticism facing Mr Borrell.
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