Ursula von der Leyen and her head of cabinet and campaign manager Björn Seibert
Image: Picture Alliance

When he moved to the EU as Commission President in 2019, many were skeptical: He doesn't even speak French! Today he enjoys a high reputation – and is facing a new task.

SSince the beginning of this week, Björn Seibert has been sitting in an office with a much worse outlook than before. EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen's most important employee has moved from the 13th floor of the Berlaymont building to the much smaller party headquarters of the European People's Party. From there he is now organizing von der Leyen's European election campaign. For him, 43 years old, it feels like he's in a start-up. He has a new telephone number and now has to build a team, around twenty employees.

Thomas Gutschker

Political correspondent for the European Union, NATO and the Benelux countries based in Brussels.

Actually, he's quite late, the election takes place in two months. In the past, however, Seibert was not dispensable – although experts say that he was never dispensable anyway. He had to take a leave of absence for the new job, according to the commission's regulations. After the election, he will then work again as von der Leyen's cabinet chief, whose contract runs until at least the beginning of December. What happens next also depends on his skill in the next few weeks.