Manfred Weber was elected on Tuesday as president of the European People’s Party (EPP), the Continent’s main center-right political force.
The election elevates the senior German member of the European Parliament to a powerful dual-hatted leadership position within the EPP. Weber already leads the EPP’s group in the European Parliament, where it holds the most seats. Following Tuesday’s election, he will also helm the EPP’s party organization.
Weber was elected EPP president with 447 votes out of 502 at a party conference in Rotterdam. There were no alternative candidates.
As POLITICO reported last week, Weber has already drawn up plans to reshuffle EPP senior ranks, and some members hope Weber’s consolidated power will boost the EPP’s efficiency and visibility. As EPP president, his job will be to focus on getting center-right candidates elected in EU countries, while also continuing to lead the group’s legislative efforts as EPP group chair in Parliament.
In an interview ahead of his election, Weber told BR24 television — a station from his home state of Bavaria — that Europe must show more “leadership.” He advocated for creating a European army and scrapping the veto right of individual EU countries, which has held up decisions in areas such as foreign policy.