EU Commissioner Thierry Breton’s Rebellion Against Ursula von der Leyen Over SME Appointment Intensifies Amid European Election Campaign

Breton celebrates after defeating von der Leyen’s choice for business envoy – POLITICO

In recent weeks, French Commissioner Thierry Breton has been leading a rebellion against European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen after a German ally of the Commission chief was appointed to a senior business role within the EU. Last Tuesday, Breton expressed his hope that the position for SMEs would be filled promptly.

The revolt led by Breton and three other European commissioners intensified last week as the European election campaign progressed. Known as a liberal ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, Breton has publicly criticized von der Leyen, a conservative German, in recent weeks.

Just hours before he was set to begin his role, MEP Markus Pieper stepped down from his position as SME envoy. Pieper had signed a contract but changed his mind following substantial opposition from both the Commission and the European Parliament. Additionally, two other female candidates who were shortlisted for the role reportedly performed better on tests.

Members of the EU Parliament and commissioners from von der Leyen’s top team condemned her decision, accusing her of engaging in party politics with the appointment. Pieper, a member of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union like von der Leyen, announced his withdrawal from the role while criticizing Breton in a recent interview. During the interview on Monday with German outlet Handelsblatt, Pieper deemed Breton’s criticism of the selection process inappropriate and said it was driven solely by political motives. He expressed frustration that Breton, who had previously been responsible for SMEs and reducing red tape, was now casting doubt on the selection process.

In recent weeks, French Commissioner Thierry Breton has been leading a rebellion against European Commission Chief Ursula von der Leyen after a German ally of the Commission chief was appointed to a senior business role within the EU. Last Tuesday, Breton expressed his hope that the position for SMEs would be filled promptly. The revolt…

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