Ursula von der Leyen, first ever female President of the Commission, elected by EU Parliament

The votes in favor of 383 Members of the Parliament (51.27%) out of a total of 747 have turned the German, Ursula von der Leyen, into the first ever female President of the European Commission in the history of the Union.

The forecast that Von der Leyen’s victory, if it took place, would result from a very tight difference, came true. The Council candidate starts her five-year term with the no vote  of 327 Members of the European Parliament (43.7%) and 22 abstentions.

Now the new President of the Commission will send letters to each and every one of the member countries of the EU asking them to send the list of candidates proposed as members of this European Institution.

The hearings of the nominees in the competent committees of the Parliament are scheduled between September 30th and October 8th this year. The whole College of Commissioners must then be elected by the EU Parliament, The voting session will most likely take place in the EU Parliament session to be held from October 21st to 24th.

A turn to a North and Central Europe led European Union?

Von der Leyen is currently Minister of Defense in Germany, the first woman to hold this position in the history of her country. Member of the CDU since 1990 and faithful supporter to Angela Merkel, this married doctor with seven children, was considered once as a serious candidate to succeed the current German Chancellor at the Presidency of the Conservative Party.

Member of an aristocratic-business family, her father, Baron Ludwig Knoop, a cotton merchant from Bremen, became one of the most successful entrepreneurs of the nineteenth century. Both she and her husband are medical doctors, but like the future president of the Commission, her husband belongs to the so called German business aristocracy.
Heiko von der Leyen, professor of medicine and Executive Director of a medical engineering company, is a member of the von der Leyen family, an aristocratic family of silk manufacturers and traders.

In the field of the European affairs, Ursula von der Leyen supports the creation of a United States of Europe in the Swiss, German or US federated style. In her view, a federated Europe would be benefitial when it comes to solving important issues such as finance, taxes and political economy. Von der Leyen considers the creation of a European army as a long-term goal within the EU.

This politician is also known for her unsuccessful support to a Law establishing female gender quotas aimed to push German companies to increase the presence of women on their supervisory boards up to the 20% from 2013 to 2018 and up to a 40% by 2023.

Frans Timmermans (left). Image from the Twitter profile of Frans Timmermans. Margrethe Vestager. Photo © EU Commission.

Donald Tusk advanced, at the time Ursula von der Leyen was propposed as cadidate for the EU Commission Presidency by the Council, the plans she had for the candidates to become Vice-Presidents of the Institution. “The European Council has taken note of the intention of Ursula von der Leyen to appoint Frans Timmermans and Margrethe Vestager as Vice-Presidents of the Commission. We also hope that Ursula von der Leyen will ensure an adequate geographical balance in the team of Vice-Presidents, ” Tusk said.

The Dutch socialist Frans Timmermans and the Danish Margrethe Vestager (now Competition Commissioner) add more Nordic and Center-European ingredient to the power structures of an European Union that could see Southern Europe underrepresented in the distribution of key responsibilities within the European Union in general and inside the Commission in particular.

Image over the headline.- Ursula von der Leyen, elected as the first ever women, who presides the EU Commission. © European Union 2019 – Source: EP

Related external links:

Click here to read Ursula von der Leyen’s programme for the Commission in the next five years

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