Chrupalla rails against previous partners in the EU Parliament. EU Commission President von der Leyen is sticking to her plan to work with right-wing forces in the European Parliament. You can find all the votes and developments regarding the European elections here.

Saturday, May 25th, 3:32 p.m.: After heavy criticism, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has defended her plans for cooperation with right-wing forces in the European Parliament. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk on Saturday, the CDU politician said: “It’s about winning over the political forces that are so important for the majority in the middle.” You shouldn’t look at the groups in parliament, but at the individual MPs . “The criterion for me is that the MPs with whom we want to work, to whom we make an offer, are for Europe, for Ukraine, i.e. against Russia, and for the rule of law.”

In April, von der Leyen did not rule out cooperation with the right-wing conservative EKR faction, to which Italian Prime Minister Meloni’s party, the ultra-right Fratelli d’Italia, also belongs. 

On Thursday, Chancellor Olaf Scholz indirectly warned the Commission President against trying to secure another term in office with the help of right-wing extremists after the European elections on June 9th. Scholz said at a press conference that he was “very saddened by the ambiguity of some of the political statements we have recently heard.” His position is clear: “It will only be possible to establish a Commission Presidency that is based on the traditional parties. (…) Anything else would be a mistake for the future of Europe.”

Friday, May 24th, 8:43 p.m.: After the AfD was kicked out of the right-wing ID faction in the European Parliament, party leader Tino Chrupalla sharply criticized the previous partners from Italy and France. He said on Friday evening at the state party conference in Glauchau, Saxony, that he forbids any interference from the parties of Marine Le Pen and Giorgia Meloni. As Prime Minister in Italy, Meloni stands for more migration and more weapons in the war in Ukraine. “This melonization will not happen with us.” His party will not bend itself in order to become more attractive to others. “For us, German interests always come first.”

On Thursday, the ID parliamentary group expelled all nine AfD MEPs with immediate effect. The decision referred, among other things, to a “series of incidents in which Mr. Maximilian Krah and thus also the German delegation of the group were involved”. These would have damaged the group’s reputation. Previously, among other things, Krah’s statements about the SS had caused sharp criticism. 

Krah comes from Saxony and is the AfD’s top candidate in the European elections at the beginning of June. In view of the massive quarrels, he is no longer appearing in the election campaign. Krah withdrew from the election campaign for the good of the party, said Chrupalla in Glauchau. “I would like to thank Maximilian Krah for that.” He downplayed the turbulence: The party had already faced many crises and this was a “small crisis”.

At its state party conference, the Saxon AfD wants to elect a new state executive committee by Sunday and adopt an election program for the state elections in September. At the start, state leader Jörg Urban warned the delegates to refrain from discussing the disputes surrounding Krah. “This party conference is the wrong platform to hold discussions about the campaign against our top candidate for the European elections, and it is also not suitable for discussing the federal party and how it is dealing with these challenges.”

The AfD state association is viewed by the state Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a “secure right-wing extremist effort”. 

8.15 p.m.: Election fraud – the suspicion has alarmed the city leaders in Bad Reichenhall recently. The judiciary is investigating. Now it is clear: It was a strange entanglement of circumstances. You can find out how the already filled-in ballot papers came into circulation here.

Thursday, May 23, 2024, 7:10 a.m.: According to CDU chairman Friedrich Merz, the federal government must improve cooperation with France. It is “so important for all of us that we work well together with France in the long term,” said Merz on Wednesday evening at his party’s election campaign event in Saarlouis. “That’s why it’s such a great loss for Germany that there is more or less speechlessness between the federal government and the current French president.”

“The French President is our friend, no matter what his name is,” said Merz, referring to the Franco-German reconciliation, which was crucial for the creation of the European Union. “And we have to work with this government – ​​who knows what will be in France in two years – better than we are currently doing.” 

Cooperation with the government of Poland, where Donald Tusk, a pro-European prime minister, has become prime minister, must also improve: “Germany must be the country in the middle between Poland and France that is most committed to progress in Europe.” The European elections are on June 9th.

2.35 p.m.: A good two weeks before the European elections, the AfD leadership breaks with its top candidate Maximilian Krah. A party spokesman confirmed on Wednesday that the federal executive board had imposed a ban on Krah appearing. You can find out what happens next here.

Wednesday, May 22nd, 2:16 p.m.: After searches on suspicion of money laundering and bribery, AfD Bundestag member Petr Bystron, number two on the party’s European election list, no longer wants to appear in the party’s election campaign for the time being. When asked on Wednesday, Bystron referred to family reasons for this step. 

“My closest family members have once again become victims of a house search and media incitement,” Bystron told the German Press Agency. “Anyone who doesn’t understand that I have to take care of them first has no heart.” Bayerischer Rundfunk had previously reported on Bystron’s temporary withdrawal.

Bystron’s announcement came several days after AfD chairmen Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla asked him to forego further appearances in the European election campaign. In an email from the AfD federal manager to Bystron it was said that Weidel and Chrupalla had agreed that Bystron should refrain from further appearances as part of the AfD’s European election campaign until the allegations against him or the ongoing investigations against him had been clarified.

This means that the AfD will initially have to make do in the European election campaign without the two candidates at the top of its list. The party’s federal executive board has banned top candidate Maximilian Krah from appearing, a party spokesman announced on Wednesday. The “Bild” newspaper first reported on this step. The background is Krah’s controversial statements about the SS and a dispute that broke out with the French right-wing party Rassemblement National.

Both candidates have been in the headlines for weeks because of possible connections to pro-Russian networks. According to media reports, public prosecutors are examining possible monetary payments to both politicians. In addition, one of Krah’s employees was arrested for suspected spying for China. 

The Bundestag lifted Bystron’s immunity on Thursday because the public prosecutor’s office was investigating him on initial suspicion of bribery and money laundering. Police searched, among other things, his parliamentary office in Berlin. Bystron himself described the proceedings to “Zeit online” as politically motivated. “The proceedings will be stopped when the election is over,” the portal quoted him as saying. 

1:49 p.m.: The Wahl-O-Mat for the 2024 European elections is available online. Simply answer the questions and find out which parties are best for you. This Wahl-O-Mat was created based on the election programs of the various parties. Simply answer the questions and find out which parties suit you best.

Tuesday, May 21, 1:48 p.m.: The Federal Returning Officer recommends that eligible voters who have not received an election notification by May 19, 2024 should immediately clarify with their responsible municipality whether they have been properly entered in the voters’ register.

Citizens have the opportunity to view the electoral roll and check the accuracy and completeness of the data entered until May 24, 2024. Anyone who believes the information is incorrect or incomplete should clarify this with the local authority and, if necessary, lodge an objection with the local authority in accordance with Section 21 of the European Elections Regulations (EuWO) by May 24, 2024.

You can read more about the European elections on the next pages.