Catherine E. De Vries, Isabell Hoffmann & Simon Hix

The Von der Leyen Effect

High visibility, low accountability

Format Type
Date of publication
1. edition
38 pages, PDF


Free of charge


Between 6 and 9 June 2024, voters will elect a new European Parliament. Once again, these elections will be contested in the midst of challenging times. Europe is ill-equipped to meet the growing geopolitical tensions, its economic fundamentals are weakening, and the backlash against EU climate policy is increasing. While political polarization is intensifying, public attention to the upcoming elections, however, does not match the stakes.

Same old, same old in the EU, then? Well, not quite!

In recent years, Europeans have had a very visible crisis manager in Ursula von der Leyen. In this study, Catherine De Vries, Simon Hix and Isabell Hoffmann inquire whether this could be the beginning of a deeper democratic bond between Europeans and their political leaders in Brussels.

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