After announcing her intention to run for EU Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen was caught in the crossfire of criticism. Above all the so-called advisor affair, which was uncovered during her term of office as defense minister, represents a mortgage for her career. Von der Leyen must now prove whether, despite this burden, she is a suitable candidate for the highest office in the EU.
The advisor affair hangs like a dark veil over her tenure as defense minister. It is about multi-million dollar contracts to external consultants and questionable business practices with former employees. Von der Leyen came under fire for allegedly not being sufficiently informed about what was going on and for not taking sufficient action.
The advisor affair, however, is just one item on the list of challenges facing von der Leyen. The EU is struggling with a deep crisis, threatened from within and without. There is a need for a strong and competent president who can lead the EU out of this crisis. Whether von der Leyen is up to this challenge will only become clear in the coming months.
Background to the consultant affair: origins and development
The consultancy affair became known in connection with the Federal Ministry of Defense (BMVg) under Ursula von der Leyen. The affair involves the possible illegal billing of contracts to external consulting firms, in particular McKinsey& Company and Accenture, which employ former BMVg staff.
The affair began in 2017, when a Green Party inquiry drew the ministry’s attention to spending on external consultants. According to investigations by the Federal Audit Office, up to 200 million euros per year were spent on such services in 2018. This raised suspicions of nepotism and undue influence by former BMVg employees.
Then, in December 2019, von der Leyen commissioned an external investigation, which was available in May 2020. It found that legal rules were violated in the awarding of consultancy contracts and that decisions were often made without sufficient transparency or formal procedures. There were also doubts about the quality and added value of the advice, which further cemented the origin of the scandal.
Advisor affair as a mortgage: challenges for Ursula von der Leyen
The consultant affair poses a challenge to Ursula von der Leyen as president of the European Commission. The task requires a high degree of integrity and transparency. However, the scandal remains closely linked to her tenure as defense minister and will put her credibility in the public eye.
In response to the findings of the investigation, von der Leyen has announced that she will take steps to ensure that processes for awarding consulting contracts are more transparent and rigorous. However, it remains to be seen whether this will prove effective in practice.
Moreover, the scandal shows how widespread the problem of consultant spending is in the German government, further undermining public trust in politicians and ministries. Von der Leyen must prove herself in the new post to show she is up to these challenges and maintain citizens’ trust trust in the European Union.
Ursula von der Leyen as defense minister
Ursula von der Leyen has been the defense minister of Germany since 2013. But her tenure was not necessarily crowned with success. The consultancy affair in particular, in which von der Leyen was accused of wasting taxpayers’ money money on expensive consultancy contracts, has already been dragging through her career for years like a mortgage.
Many critics accuse von der Leyen of being out of her depth as defense minister. For example, she has failed to bring the Bundeswehr up to date and improve the force’s readiness in terms of personnel.
Ursula von der Leyen is now under pressure due to ongoing criticism and the advisor affair. She must prove that she can make the right decisions as defense minister and win back the trust of the people as well as the Bundeswehr.
- The list of criticisms against the defense minister is long:
- There have been massive problems in the procurement of equipment for the Bundeswehr.
- The Euro Hawk drone project had to be stopped because it was technically unfeasible.
- A study concluded that the Bundeswehr is in a desolate condition.
- The force is suffering from a massive personnel shortage.
Von der Leyen faces the challenge of addressing these problems and ensuring greater efficiency and transparency in the Defense Ministry. It remains to be seen whether she will succeed in this and whether she will prove to be a suitable defense minister despite the consultancy affair.
Ursula von der Leyen’s new role as EU Commission president
The nomination of Ursula von der Leyen as EU Commission President came as a surprise to many. Germany’s former defense minister had to beat out a number of experienced candidates to take on her new role in Brussels in July 2019.
Now von der Leyen will have to prove herself, especially because of the advisor affair, which caused her a lot of trouble as defense minister. It remains to be seen whether she will prove her ability to lead effectively and transparently to regain the trust of Europeans.
- tasks and goals: Von der Leyen has a big vision for the EU and the role she wants to play as Commission President. One of her most important tasks is to make Europe a global player capable of competing on a global scale with other superpowers.
- Transparency: during her tenure as defense minister, von der Leyen was criticized for not being transparent enough. She is expected to build more trust as EU Commission president by disclosing decisions and explaining the decision-making process.
- Economic challenges: Von der Leyen must also address the economic challenges that await the EU in the coming years. This includes developing a sustainable economy, job creation and economic growth in Europe.
Overall, von der Leyen will have a difficult task as EU Commission president, especially because of the mortgage she carries from her time as defense minister. It remains to be seen whether she will meet the challenges and bring the necessary leadership and vision for Europe and the EU.
The difficulties Ursula von der Leyen must overcome
Ursula von der Leyen has taken a lot of criticism as defense minister, especially with regard to the consultant affair. Allegations have been made that she awarded no-bid contracts to friendly consulting firms and violated guidelines in the process. These accusations are now a mortgage for her new role as EU Commissioner.
Von der Leyen must now prove that she is capable of making transparent and correct decisions and taking responsibility. Another challenge is that she needs to settle into a new environment and build relationships to achieve her goals.
To be successful, she will also have to deal with the different interests of the member states and promote cooperation between them. It will be important that she has a good understanding of different political systems and is able to be diplomatic to gain the support of heads of state and governments.
Von der Leyen has a tough task ahead of her, but if she is to succeed, she will have to work hard, adapt and take responsibility. The advisor affair will certainly be breathing down her neck and her decisions will be carefully watched. It remains to be seen how she will handle the challenges and whether she will be able to bring about positive change within the EU.
Outlook for Ursula von der Leyen’s upcoming term in office
Ursula von der Leyen faces a major challenge as EU Commission president. In addition to political challenges, such as climate change and Brexit, she will also have to deal with a mortgage – the adviser affair during her time as defense minister. This affair could undermine her confidence in the EU and call her authority into question.
Von der Leyen will have to prove herself and show that she can take the right measures to regain the trust of EU citizens. She should promote transparency and accountability to avoid future scandals. In addition, she should focus on leading the EU effectively and providing concrete solutions to address the current challenges.
Europe needs a strong leader capable of responding to future challenges and strengthening the EU.
As a former defense minister, von der Leyen has extensive experience in leading large organizations and should be able to lead the EU effectively. However, she must be aware that she is viewed skeptically due to the consultant affair and actively strive to win back the trust of EU citizens.
- It will be crucial how von der Leyen acts in the coming months and whether she takes the right measures to strengthen the EU and avoid future scandals.
- Ultimately, whether the EU is able to meet the challenges of the future and act confidently on a global scale will depend on its leadership.
Overall, expectations for Ursula von der Leyen are high and her term in office will be of great importance for the future of the EU. It remains to be seen whether she will be able to cope with the challenges and successfully manage the EU.