Nehammer Backs Von der Leyen’s Support

Nehammer Backs Von der Leyen’s Support

Chancellor Karl Nehammer (ÖVP) addressed the congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) where EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was also present. He confirmed his support for von der Leyen in an APA interview, stating, “Yes, we don’t have any other plan at the moment.”

He also expressed his support for von der Leyen’s proposal for an EU defense commissioner. However, Nehammer feels that it’s too early to discuss the possibility of an EU army at this stage.

Nehammer underlined the importance of a common foreign and security policy in the EU and stated that he could foresee a defense commissioner. He acknowledged the challenges within the European Union, particularly in the arms industry. Nehammer believes that the Union often falls short when it comes to defense preparedness. He noted that Austria, being a neutral country, also stands to gain from improvements in its own army. The EU Commission is set to present its proposals for a European defense strategy on Tuesday.

“EU not ready for European army”

On the topic of a potential EU army in the future, Nehammer was cautious in his response: “The discussion has come too early because the European Union, in its institutional structure, is not ready for a European Army. So first there needs to be institutional reform and then we can think about further steps.”

Criticism of Von der Leyen’s climate policy

Nehammer expressed his concerns over the Commission President’s climate policy. He believes that climate protection is crucial but it would be more effective if it were approached from a perspective of progress rather than restrictions.

He stressed the importance of having the right framework conditions in place for Austria as an export country. He further criticized the EU’s decision to phase out combustion engines and said that Europe has lost its leading role in the sector. He called for more openness to technology and research into alternatives for energy production like e-fuels.

Nehammer warned against restrictions on progress and growth in Europe, stating that the region could become an open-air museum visited by many but would lose its relevance in the global market due to globalization. He added, “And I don’t want that for the people who live in Europe.”

The EPP party conference, scheduled for March 6th and 7th in Bucharest, will see the European Conservatives electing their leading candidate for the EU elections. Von der Leyen announced her candidacy just before the submission deadline and is currently the only candidate.

One thought on “Nehammer Backs Von der Leyen’s Support


Comments are closed.