Von der Leyen denies moving to NATO
4/1/2023, 5:41 p.m
According to a media report, EU Commission President von der Leyen is being treated as the successor to NATO boss Stoltenberg. She herself expressly denies such plans.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has had reports of her allegedly planned move to the head of the western defense alliance NATO rejected. A spokesman for the Commission expressly denied the media reports and described them as “unfounded speculation”.
The British Newspaper “The Sun” had reported, the former German defense minister is a candidate to succeed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. His term of office was last extended because of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, but expires at the end of September. In February, Stoltenberg dismissed reports of a possible further extension of his term.
The Norwegian has headed the alliance since the end of 2014. The 30 member states of the alliance usually agree behind the scenes on who will lead the organisation. An American is usually the military commander-in-chief, while the Secretary General comes from the ranks of the other, mostly European, member states.
The “Sun” had referred to British diplomatic circles. A number of NATO member states have proposed von der Leyen as Stoltenberg’s successor, the report said. Great Britain will probably veto von der Leyen. This is justified by the fact that she has only a poor track record in her previous function as German Defense Minister. However, it could also play a role that the British Defense Minister Ben Wallace also calculates the chances of Stoltenberg’s successor.