Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen is the first woman to be president of the European Commission.
She was born Ursula Gertrud Albrecht (1958) in Belgium from German parents and was educated in German and French. She has seven kids.
Her father (Ernst Albrecht) was one of the first European civil servants appointed in 1958 and served as Director-General of the Directorate-General for Competition from 1967 to 1970.
Ernst Albrecht became Prime Minister of Lower Saxony (German region) in 1978 and was involved in an unusually large number of political scandals, rehabilitation of nazies and SS men, nuclear waste dump (Gorleben) and false flag operations (Celle Hole).
The Albrechts were part of what we call the American bred German cast.
Ursula lived in London in the late 1970s but not under her real name. She used the alias “Rose Ladson”.
The Albrecht family were important cotton merchants who married into the slave- and plantation-owning family “Ladson” from South Carolina.
Ladson was the family name of Ursula’s American great-grandmother, Mary Ladson Robertson, who was an American of prominent planter class origin from South Carolina and a descendant of James H. Ladson and several colonial governors.
The official reason that she gave for using an alias, was to protect herself because German politicians were actively being targeted by Red Army Faction leftist militants.
However, she only started her political career by joining the CDU in 1990 and became active in local politics in Lower Saxony in 1996.
In London, she lived in the same building as Jacek Rostowski who would later become Poland’s finance minister and deputy PM.
Rostowski said of her: “she was “bouncy”. She was having a good time and would come back fairly late. One of the problems was that she didn’t properly close the front door to the house.”
Being bouncy and loud, and leaving the door open doesn’t seem compatible with the fear of being targeted by Red Army Faction.
Then again, the Red Army Faction may have to be interpreted through the “Gladio Operation” prism.
Ursula using an alias is thus related to the (unofficial) career of her father.
Ursula was asked where she wanted to have her Brussels residency when she started her job at the European Commission in 2019.
She made a remarkable choice: she asked to have her residency in the official headquarters of the European Commission, the Berlaymont Building. She’s probably living on one of the top floors.
Many people at the European Commission think it’s a bit weird that she lives in her office building.
However, one should remember that Ursula has 7 kids: she’s used to what some people may refer to as “unconventional” situations.
The European Commission agreed and converted meeting rooms into a personal apartment for Ursula.
I was told the following anecdote. In the past, a similar request had been made by an Italian Commissioner who had asked to have a bathroom installed in his Berlaymont office.
The Commission thought that this request was a bit unusual. They refused this request to avoid the Berlaymont turning into a …. bunga bunga cabaret …. Berlusconi Style.
What Ursula didn’t know was that the Berlaymont is located on top of the “rue de La Loi” (Law Street) where all the national demonstrations and strikes take place in Belgium.
The headquarters of the “European Council” is located on the other side of the street of the Berlaymont and there are snippers on the roof of the European Council building in case of a terrorist attack. Technically speaking, the snippers could see Ursula in her apartment.
Ursula is probably the only head of state in the world who’s going to sleep in the sight of snippers who are not even of her own nationality.
This tells you something about the woman; a heathy dose of naïvety.
She became involved in local politics in the late 1990s.
Ursula was promoted to the highest ranks of the CDU party because she had a young and beautiful “Face” and she had seven kids (Christian values). She was the ideal candidate to become the face of the political party CDU.
She became Minister of Family Affairs and Youth (2005 to 2009), Minister of Labour and Social Affairs (2009 to 2013) and Minister of Defence (2013 to 2019).
The problem with “face” politicians is that they lack some kind of political vision.
Ursula received many criticism for her job as Defence Minister. Apparently, she left the Ministry of Defence in a “catastrophic” state. Many people claimed that she outsourced too many projects and was too close to a US consultancy firm called “McKinsey” where one of her son works. Today, many voices say that she does the same at the European Commission.
In summary, Ursula is far from being a “brilliant” politician.
In addition, it is almost impossible to have a political or professional career when you have seven kids …. you need to rely on “nepotism”.
Ursula is not a queen but a “pawn” on the political Exchequer.
Burn Out and Early Retirement
Her predecessor, Jean-Claude Juncker, understood the problem of the European Commission and tried to implement the “less but better” legislative doctrine at the European Commission.
Ursula is the complete opposite of Juncker: she wants more and more legislation at the expense of “quality”.
Ursula is putting a lot of pressure on the European Commission and many officials cannot follow her rhythm.
I was also told that many EU public officials are almost in burn out and many senior public officials are considering early retirement because they’re a bit “fed up” of Ursula’s cadence.
In fact, it has never been a love story between Ursula and the European Commission: when she arrived at the European Commission, she locked herself up for a couple of months with her “German” advisers …(maybe Mc Kinsey wasn’t too far either) and didn’t communicate with the European Commission people. Senior EU public officials perceived this as a mistrust towards the European Commission.
The German Question
The European Commission was created in 1958 and its first president was a West German under the name of Hallstein.
It was a symbolic move to place a West German as the head of the Commission. At that time, we were in the middle of the Cold War and Germany was divided in East and West Germany. It was important to include West Germans and place them at the front stage of the struggle against the Soviet Union.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany, it was commonly agreed that it would be unacceptable for most Europeans to have a “German” president of the European Commission.
Up until 10 years ago, ze Germans would be very passive within the EU institutions; they would sit at the back of the room and remain silent.
The European Central Bank (ECB) was the exception. European politicians agreed to place the ECB in Frankfurt and outsource European monetary policy to the Germans because the Deutsche Mark had been the strongest currency in Europe with the Sterling Pound. Ze Germans were also obsessed with fighting inflation because they had endure a collective trauma on inflation dating back to the interbellum period when they had devaluated their currency to repay their war debts (Treaty of Versailles).
However, since Ursula has taken office in Brussels, ze Germans have become uninhibited…it’s Oktoberfest at the Berlaymont.
It has been mayhem in Europe since Ursula took office.
We had Brexit, Covid (measures), inflation, Russian-Ukraine war and in each of these cases, Ursula missed the ball completely.
Brexit was a complete fiasco and not one single EU public official was fired because of this debacle. No lessons were learned as to why many Europeans are alienated from the European union.
Ursula was in favour of forced vaccination, lockdowns and sanitary passes during the corona crisis, she completely set our European values … the human rights of individuals … aside.
Not to speak of the “Pfizer SMS gate” and her husband (Heiko) who is medical doctor for a US biotech company that surfed of the “Corona” wave. Some people also believe that consultancy firm McKinsey are also heavily involved in the “corona measures” policy in Europe. There was clearly a conflict of interests and she should have been removed from office.
Her “Green Deal” doctrine (that is not even hers) may seem a fantastic discussion topic at the cocktail receptions of the haute bourgeoisie but will not bring one inch of environmental or socio-economic justice to the world.