Ursula von der Leyen in “Le Monde”, from Super Mutti to European leader on borrowed time

Stop or again? The result of the European elections, Sunday June 9, will be decisive in determining Ursula von der Leyen’s chances of running for a second term as President of the European Commission. The heads of state and government of the European Union will not decide his fate alone: ​​the European Parliament will also have to decide on his candidacy during a vote with an uncertain outcome.

In 2019, the German was only dubbed with a nine-vote lead. If she has since established herself, at 65, as a major political figure of the Old Continent, thanks in particular to her mobilization during the Covid-19 epidemic, or thanks to the war in Ukraine, the leader also crystallizes the hatred of a good part of the right and the European extreme right.

Ursula von der Leyen has never hesitated to take her side against the grain. This personality of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) appears for the first time in the columns of World, in 2005, as a woman seeking to break the old German family model. Mothers who combine parenthood and professional activity are then accused of neglecting their offspring, in a context of declining birth rates.

A trial that annoys Ursula von der Leyen, Minister of Social Affairs of the Land of Lower Saxony and herself a mother… of seven children. “We very often cling in Germany to outdated images of the family”, she laments to the journalist Henri de Bresson, in an article published on March 16, 2005. “This bubbly 46-year-old blonde, who appears as an exotic character, mocked on the left as the daughter of the rich, has made motherhood her fight,” reports the latter. Enough to catch the eye of Angela Merkel, CDU candidate for chancellor, who tasked her with working on the demographic crisis across the Rhine.

A progressive move

The forty-year-old logically becomes Minister of Family Affairs, following the victory of the right in the federal elections, a few weeks later. Ursula von der Leyen is making a name for herself, after having lived in the shadow of her father, Ernst Albrecht, former minister-president (CDU) of Lower Saxony and… former senior official with the European institutions. His progressive approach arouses heated controversies.

It establishes a parental salary, including for men, and proposes to create five hundred thousand additional places in crèches, despite the opposition of Christian churches, which manage many kindergartens. “Representatives of the conservative wing of the CDU-CSU denounced a project likely to call into question the traditional family model, the 3 Ks: Kinder, Küche, Kirche (children, kitchen, Church), where the woman chooses to stay at home to take care of the children”, explains Cécile Calla, correspondent in Berlin, February 28, 2007.

You have 61.31% of this article left to read. The rest is reserved for subscribers.

source site-26