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Europe

European Parliament to vote on von der Leyen as EU Commission president

media Designated European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers a speech during a debate on her election at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, July 16, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

The European Parlaiment's 751 MEPs in Strasbourg today are to vote on whether Ursula von der Leyen, will become the next President of the EU commission.

Von der Leyen, currently a German minister for defence, received the key support of President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel during the nomination period.

Today’s session so far in Strasbourg has seen von der Loyen address the house, where she set out her plans for the EU bloc, if she were to become commission President.

Ursula's Plans

Von der Leyen told MEPs that she would like to make Europe the first carbon neutral continent by 2050, as well as every person living in the EU to receive a standardized minimum wage.

She also advocated for closer military and defence co-operation between the 28 member states, a new pact on migration and she also advocated for fair taxes on big businesses, something that the French government will warm to.

Ursula von der Leyen, nominee for President of the European Commission REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

A friend for France?

Sebastian Maillard, Director of the European political think tank, the Jacques Delors institute, told RFI that he believes Von Der Leyen will win today’s vote which will be beneficial for France.

Sebastian said: “She supports ideas that are dear to France, such as, having negotiations for a minimum wage across states in the EU, also she is supportive of taxing digital companies and she has also said she will support the current tax on trade which is very dear to France.

“Additionally she has shown support for a trans-national list for future European elections which Emmanuel Macron had announced following his election win so I think because of all this, France will be very supportive of Von Der Leyen’s agenda.” 

Opposition Left and Right

The German defence minister is certain to receivea hostile reception hostility from both far right and far left MEPs.

However, von der Leyen has already announced that she doesn’t need the votes of those on the far right because she doesn’t agree with their views.

It is thought that von der Leyen is unlikely to receive support from the German members of the left wing SD party because they see her as responsible for failures during her time as German defence minister.

The vote will take place tonight as a secret ballot, in which every MEP can vote anonymously either for or against the German nominee. 

The result is expected to be announced around 7pm UT.

 

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