The European Commission has its first female president. Ursula von der Leyen was confirmed after a vote in the European Parliament, at a meeting in Strasbourg on Monday (16 July). In an address to the parliament van der Leyen presented her platform for a greener, fairer and rule-based Europe.
She secured 383 votes to 327 against, said David Sassoli, the president of the European Parliament, announcing the result. The threshold was 374.
With 52% support, von der Leyen’s victory margin was in line with recent trends. Current Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker received 56% while his predecessor Jose Manuel Barroso had 52% for his second mandate and 56% for his first term.
"The trust you placed in me is confidence you placed in Europe. Your confidence in a united and strong Europe, from east to west, from south to north," said the German conservative, who earlier this week resigned as Berlin's defence minister. "It's a big responsibility and my work starts now."
"Let us work together constructively because the endeavour is a united and strong Europe," added von der Leyen, who will take up her new role on November 1.
photo: New European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Parliament president, David Sassoli in Strasbourg on 16 July 2019.
Experts from both sides will jointly inspect different sections of the border over the coming days.