Manfred Weber

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Manfred Weber
MEP
Manfred weber csu.jpg
Leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament
Assumed office
4 June 2014
President Joseph Daul
Preceded by Joseph Daul
Member of the European Parliament
Assumed office
13 June 2004
Constituency Germany
Personal details
Born (1972-07-14) 14 July 1972 (age 45)
Niederhatzkofen, Germany
Political party  German:
Christian Social Union
 EU:
European People's Party
Alma mater Munich University of Applied Sciences

Manfred Weber (born 14 July 1972) is a German politician and Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Germany. He is a member of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, part of the European People's Party.

In the Bavarian state elections in 2003, Weber became the state’s youngest parliamentarian at the age of 29.[1] Currently heading the European People's Party Group, he is the youngest group leader in the current Parliament as well as the youngest-ever group leader of the EPP.[1]

Education

Career

  • 1996: Founded DG Beratung GmbH consultants
  • 1998: Founded G+U GbR
  • 2003-2007: Regional Chairman of the Bavaria Junge Union
  • Member of the CSU executive board and Chairman of the CSU of Lower Bavaria
  • since 2002: Member of Kelheim Regional Council
  • 2002-2004: Member of the Bavarian Regional Assembly

Member of the European Parliament, 2004–present

Weber serves on the European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. He is a substitute for the Committee on Regional Development, a member of the Delegation for relations with India, a substitute for the Delegation for relations with the countries of the Andean Community and a substitute on the Subcommittee on Human Rights. As rapporteur, he negotiated in 2008 for the European Parliament Directive on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (Return Directive), the first Directive in the field of home affairs to be adopted through the ordinary legislative procedure.[2]

After his reelection in 2009 Weber became Vice-Chairman of the Group of the EPP in the European Parliament, and was responsible for setting the political strategy and the policy in the area of Justice and Home affairs.[2]

Between 2014 and 2016, Weber was a member of the now defunct G5 group along with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Vice President Frans Timmermans, Socialist group leader Gianni Pittella and Martin Schulz, then President of the European Parliament.[3]

In early 2017, Weber established the so-called G6, a group of parliamentary leaders including Pittella as well as Guy Verhofstadt of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), Syed Kamall of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR), Ska Keller of the Greens, and Gabriele Zimmer of the European United Left–Nordic Green Left.[3]

Role in national politics

In 2015, Bavaria's Minister President Horst Seehofer nominated Weber as one of his deputies in the office of CSU chairman, making him part of the party’s leadership.

Political positions

European integration

On 7 June 2014, Weber dismissed demands by British Prime Minister David Cameron to put the brakes on European integration.[4] Weber stated that "The EU is based on an ever closer union of European peoples. That is set out in the treaties. It is not negotiable for us... We cannot sell the soul of Europe... if we grant every national parliament a veto right, Europe would come to a standstill."[4] However, he supports Cameron’s demand that Britain, as a non-euro country, should be empowered to influence eurozone policy decisions. Also, he told The Guardian in early 2015 that the United Kingdom’s drive to freeze welfare payments for EU immigrants was justified and set an example for the rest of the union.[5]

In July 2013, when the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) issued the Tavares Report criticizing the erosion of fundamental rights in Hungary, Weber dismissed it as a politically motivated attack on the government of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán by leftist parties.[6]

In early 2017, Weber held that if the International Monetary Fund (IMF) insisted on debt relief for Greece, it should no longer participate in the bailout, thereby breaking ranks with his political party's official line that the program would end if the IMF pulled out.[7]

Commenting on Britain's vote to leave the European Union, Weber said, “The British people decided to leave this union, so they will not be so comfortable, so safe, not so economically strong. That’s why we will say that it really is a very negative day.”[8]

Relations with Russia

In a 2016 letter to Sigmar Gabriel, German economy minister, and Miguel Arias Cañete, EU energy commissioner, Weber criticized that the proposed Nord Stream 2 pipeline project would undermine the EU’s foreign and security goals by increasing dependence on Gazprom, Russia’s gas export monopoly. Rather than new supplies across the Baltic, Weber called upon the Commission to accelerate its efforts to import more gas across Turkey from the Caspian Sea, and even potentially Iran and Iraq.[9]

Other activities

References

  1. ^ a b Toby Vogel (November 20, 2014), Manfred Weber – calm conciliator European Voice.
  2. ^ a b Speakers at Harvard Kennedy School 2015 European Conference at Harvard, February 27–28, 2015.
  3. ^ a b Maïa de La Baume (February 14, 2017), Germany’s Weber wants a ‘G6’ to push out the populists Politico Europe.
  4. ^ a b reuters.com: "New head of European conservatives dismisses Cameron's EU demands" 7 Jun 2014
  5. ^ Ian Traynor (January 5, 2016), EU reform: senior German politicians move to support David Cameron The Guardian.
  6. ^ R. Daniel Kelemen (June 18, 2015), EPP loves Orbán Politico Europe.
  7. ^ Michelle Martin (February 26, 2017), No debt relief for Greece, Germany's deputy finance minister says Reuters.
  8. ^ Angela Merkel rejects one of Theresa May's key Brexit demands The Guardian
  9. ^ Christian Oliver (May 1, 2016), Top German MEP joins foes of controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline Financial Times.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Daul
Leader of the European People's Party in the European Parliament
2014–present
Incumbent
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