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

The French commissioner led a rebellion within the European Commission against von der Leyen following the appointment of a German party ally to a senior business role. Breton expressed his hope that the SME position would be filled promptly. This dissent against von der Leyen was instigated by Breton and three other European commissioners as the European election campaign grows more intense. As a liberal ally of French President Emmanuel Macron, Breton has openly criticized von der Leyen, a German conservative, in recent weeks.

MEP Markus Pieper decided to resign from his role as SME envoy just hours before he was set to begin. Despite having signed the contract, Pieper had a change of heart due to pushback from both the Commission and the European Parliament. During the selection process, two other female candidates received higher scores on tests for the position. The appointment was criticized by EU lawmakers and commissioners for crossing party lines.

Pieper, who is part of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union like von der Leyen, spoke out against Breton in an interview with the German outlet Handelsblatt when he announced his withdrawal from the role. Pieper accused Breton of questioning the selection process out of political motives, which he believed was inappropriate. He emphasized that he had successfully completed a rigorous selection process, and Breton’s actions were disrespectful.

By Samantha Robertson

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