CSU’s Manfred Weber sets his sights on EU’s highest office

A little-known Bavarian is seeking the European Commission’s top office. Who is Manfred Weber? And what chances does a little-known member of the Christian Social Union, the sister party of Angela Merkel’s CDU, have?

This is Manfred Weber’s moment: The politician from the Christian Social Union (CSU), the Bavarian allies of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), is the lead candidate for the European People’s Party (EPP), the EU-wide bloc of conservative parties, in elections for the European Parliament in May 2019.

Weber hopes to use the elections as his springboard to the presidency of the European Commission.

“The campaign starts here in Helsinki,” Weber told the EPP delegates on Thursday. “We are bridge-builders, let’s use this momentum. Then we will win in May 2019,” he said.

Weber won a decisive vote against former Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb at the EPP congress in Helsinki on Thursday. Weber was considered the favorite despite the fact that the 46-year-old only has basic French and barely fluent English. Stubb is fluent in English, French and German.

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(Photo: Michael Lucan, licence)