Press Release 09.09.2019

Ursula von der Leyen receives offer of help from foodwatch to "Restore a taste for Europe"

Brussels, 9 September 2019. The President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen received today an unsolicited application from Thilo Bode, Director of foodwatch International, to become her Special Advisor to sort out food in the EU.

Recognising the challenges von der Leyen is facing this week in putting her team together, and over the next five years to restore a taste for Europe among its citizens, Bode writes: "There is a real need to rekindle the love of Europeans for this European Union, so that our unity in all its diversity will give the EU the strength needed throughout the world. It is an old wisdom that the best way to people's hearts is through their stomachs. The love of food therefore is no less than the golden path to the love of the European Union."

"As the long-standing director of the politically and financially independent consumer rights organisation foodwatch, which is renowned for its expertise in the field of European food policy, I take the liberty of offering you my services, pro bono of course, as your Special Advisor for the creation of a transparent, healthy and safe EU food market."

In the letter, Thilo Bode demands to make the EU approach to food "more citizen friendly than industry friendly". Concrete actions include a mandatory traffic light label, the introduction of a soda-tax and the ban of marketing of junkfood to  children. 

The offer of help is on the table. Thilo now waits for the phone to ring at the foodwatch headquarters in Berlin.


The future President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will present her dream team for the next five years on Tuesday. If everything goes according to plan, the EU Parliament could confirm the team as a whole in mid-October. The new Commission is due to start work on 1 November.

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