German Minister of Defense and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s close ally, Ursula von der Leyen, has been confirmed as the new President of the European Commission.
Members of the European Parliament voted narrowly on Tuesday to support Von der Leyen as successor to current EC President Jean-Claude Juncker when his term in the office expires on October 31.
The Guardian reported that Von der Leyen won the support of 383 MEPs, which is nine more than required to secure an absolute majority, but also below the 400 threshold that would have given her a stable majority to get her policies through parliament over the next five years.
Brussels-born, 60-year-old Von der Leyen will be the European Commission’s first female President, and the first German in the job for more than 50 years - since Walter Hallstein served from 1958 to 1967.
“The trust you place in me is confidence you place in Europe. Confidence in a united and strong Europe, from east to west, from south to north. The confidence in a Europe that is ready to fight for the future rather than fight against each other”, Von der Leyen said after being confirmed as the new EC President.