Manfred Weber, the European People’s Party (EPP) ”spitzenkandidat” (lead candidate) for the European Commission Presidency in the May 2019 European elections, promises that the EU will “stand by the Government of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriot people.”
He expressed his solidarity with the people of the island when he was questioned about renewed efforts to solve the Cyprus issue. He also said that he advocates the ”ending of the official accession process for Turkey” in an interview with state-run news agency CNA.
The leading candidate for the EPP also encouraged the development of a stronger E.U. mechanism for enforcing what he called “Rule of Law values” in the E.U. He also supports curbing Russian and other third parties which have been known to use the internet to influence the voting process.
Weber said this is needed now to safeguard European democracy.
When asked to share his thoughts on a possible enlargement of the E.U. to include the Western Balkans and Turkey, Weber said that he is open to a constructive partnership based on deals, such as the migration agreement the E.U. made with these countries.
There is widespread reluctance for any further enlargement across the E.U., since the addition of 13 new member-states during the past decade has dramatically changed the nature of the Union.
Last September, Weber declared his intention to run for the position of President of the European Commission. He was elected as the candidate of the European People’s Party on November 8th.