Federal Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen is to be President of the European Commission. At a special meeting of the European Council in Brussels, the EU leaders agreed on her nomination. Ursula von der Leyen’s appointment must still be confirmed by the European Parliament – she would be the first woman to head the European Commission.
After the European Council decision on nominations for the top EU jobs, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, "We have a good top team and have attached a great deal of importance to ensuring the EU’s ability to act."
Decision taken with great unity
In addition to the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen for the post of President of the European Commission, the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was selected as the next President of the European Council. The Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell was nominated to take over as the EU’s High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, while the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde from France is to become President of the European Central Bank (ECB).
Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed that the European Council had proven its ability to act. "I believe it is important that we were able to decide with a great degree of unity today." Also because what is at stake is the future ability of the EU to act, she added. All sides have had to compromise, she continued, but once again the European Council has demonstrated that it is able to do so.
When the European Council met on 21 June there was initially no majority for a candidate to take over from Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the European Commission. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, then invited the heads of state and government to a special meeting on 30 June, and continued consultations, also with the European Parliament.