Ursula von der Leyen

Apart from delivering political guidance to the European Commission, the role of the President of the European Commission is to lead the Commission’s work in implementing EU policies and is the chair to the meetings of the College of Commissioners.

Ursula von der Leyen was appointed President of the European Commission after securing the backing of more than half of the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) during Tuesday’s ballot vote in the European Parliament.  A mother of seven, Ursula von der Leyen will be the first woman to become president of the European Commission.  She will replace the outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on November 1.

Raised in Brussels for most of her childhood, Ursula von der Leyen graduated and worked as a doctor prior to her political career.   In the early 2000s, she entered the German political scene by joining Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Germany.  She has served continuously under Merkel’s government ever since, holding various important posts such as Family Affairs Minister and Labour and Social Affairs Minister.  Before assuming her role of European Commission President, Von der Leyen was the first female Federal Minister of Defence of Germany.

During her address to the European Parliament on July 16, von der Leyer declared her vision of a climate-neutral Europe by 2050.  Apart from her focus on climate change issues, von der Leyen expressed her willingness to work closely with the European Parliament on democratic issues and a fair European economy amongst other matters.

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