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Will never allow Europe to be weakened


In the face of major crises and threats from Russia and extremists, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has made an urgent plea for a strong and united Europe.

“The European Union cannot be taken for granted,” she said on Friday evening during the final meeting of the German conservative CDU/CSU bloc in Munich.

A peaceful Europe is challenged by populists, extremists and demagogues, such as the right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen in France and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Germany.

“These extremists have one thing in common: they want to weaken, destroy and ruin our Europe,” she said, adding that this should never happen.

She therefore wants a broad alliance: in favor of the rule of law, in favor of Ukraine and in favor of a strong Europe.

The top candidate for the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), Manfred Webersaid about the AfD and especially the camp led by Björn Höcke: “We will not allow these neo-Nazis to destroy our Europe.”

In view of the Russian threat, Von der Leyen again urgently called for a stronger common defense policy. “If we want to keep peace on our continent, we must not hesitate,” she said. Europe must again invest more money in its defense and its defense industry. “We want a Europe that can defend itself,” she said.

Von der Leyen also campaigned for a consistent European migration policy and greater climate protection: “We owe our children and grandchildren an intact natural environment,” she said.

According to opinion polls, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the CSU together can expect to win Sunday’s European elections in Germany by a wide margin.

Von der Leyen is aiming for a second term at the head of the European Commission, while CSU deputy Weber wants to remain chairman of the European People’s Party (EPP) and leader of the group in the European Parliament.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission and EU and EPP leadership candidate, takes part in the final meeting of the CDU and CSU for the European elections in the Loewenbraeukeller. Sven Hoppe/dpa

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