Name: Manfred Weber
Date of birth: 14 July 1972
Role: Leader of the European’s People Party (EPP), EPP’s Spitzenkandidat for the European Commission
Manfred Weber, also known as “The man of the People”, is a German politician born in 1972 in Niederhatzkofen (Bavaria). In 1996, he took the Degree in physical engineering at the Munich University of Applied Sciences and started to work as self-employed.
During his political carrier, he often was “the youngest”. Indeed, he became the youngest Member of the Bavarian State Parliament in 2002, at the age of 29. After a few years, he resigned in order to run for the European elections. He has been a Member of the European Parliament since 2004, member of the CSU Party Presidency since 2009 and Vice-President of the Christians’ Social Union (CSU) Party since 2015.
Over the years, he sat on the Committees on Constitutional Affairs, on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and on Regional Development, and he was Rapporteur, negotiating the European Parliament Directive on common standards and procedures in the Member States for returning third-country nationals staying illegally, which was the first Home Affairs Directive to be adopted through the “new” ordinary legislative procedure. He was elected Chair of the EPP on the 4 June 2014, becoming the youngest group leader in the current Parliament as well as the youngest-ever group leader of the EPP.
He was defined by Politico.eu as a “calm conciliator” for his moderate temper and his low profile. He is not used to sit in a talk-shows and to stab back the members of his own party. He operates behind the scene: he usually strikes deals before going to public. However, through the years, he didn’t hold back his criticism to the European Union. During his speech’s candidacy for the Presidency of the Commission, he said that “The European Union is seen from the perspective of the people too much as bureaucratic, as an elite structure.”, and he described himself as the man who would “give Europe back to the people”.
He wants to become the Man in Brussels, is he up to the challenge?