Ursula von der Leyen has been elected president of the EU Commission following a secret ballot among MEPs.
The German centre-right defence minister is to become the first female president of the Commission and will take over from Jean Claude-Juncker on 1 November 2019.
In a speech after the vote, Mrs von der Leyen said;
“It is a big responsibility and my work starts now”
“Let us work together constructively.”
Von der Leyen secured the votes of more than half of the members of the European Parliament on Tuesday evening, winning by a margin of 383 votes to 327.
Mrs von der Leyen has made a series of pledges, including new action on climate change, boosting gender equality and a possible extension to the Brexit process. A close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, she was mainly backed by centrist liberal, conservative and socialist MEPS in the secret ballot.
On the topic of Brexit, Von der Leyen said “I stand ready for a further extension of the withdrawal date, should more time be required for a good reason” in a speech to MEPs. She added, “In any case, the United Kingdom will remain our ally, our partner and our friend.” Mrs Von der Leyen is due to become head of the Commission on the day after the latest deadline for Brexit of 31 October 2019.
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