TERVUREN, Belgium — European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who has yet to announce if she will seek another term in office, seems open to the idea of another run at the helm of the EU’s executive.
Asked at a POLITICO event Tuesday evening what she would do differently during a second mandate, von der Leyen said she would “keep the direction of travel for the big topics” from her current mandate — namely the Green Deal, the digital transitions and resilience.
But the Commission chief also stressed that Europe would need flexibility to adapt to a changing world.
“The world is dictating partially what the tasks of the day are,” von der Leyen said. “You have to integrate [this] in your political life too.”
Von der Leyen, a former German defense minister from the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and a close ally to former Chancellor Angela Merkel, became the first woman to land the top EU job in 2019.
Since then, she has decisively steered the bloc through a series of crises, from the COVID-19 pandemic to Russia’s war in Ukraine, which earned her a reputation for making major moves without consulting national capitals or, at times, her own commissioners.
Von der Leyen, who has also been rumored to be eyeing another top international job at the end of her term (such as, for example, the NATO secretary-general gig), has been tight-lipped about her future.
And Tuesday evening was no exception. Asked directly if she would go for another term as Commission president, von der Leyen said: “Typically I say ‘nice try’ when this question comes.”
“So unfortunately I have to leave you with that big question mark,” the Commission chief added.
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