Ursula von der Leyen, elected EC President by MEPs split vote

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MEPs have elected Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen as the new President of the European Commission by a narrow vote on Tuesday evening, so she became the first woman to fill this EU’s top job.

60-year-old Ursula has been a close ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, being expected to be Merkel’s successor. The former German Defence minister will replace Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November.

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. It is a big responsibility and my work starts now. Let us work together constructively,” von der Leyen said in her speech after the vote.

She was elected by a margin of 383 votes to 327. She needed the backing of 374 out of 747 MEPs to win. A total of 751 MEPs were elected in May, but four were absent for Tuesday’s vote.

Ursula von der Leyen, the incumbent German Defence minister, has been officially proposed as candidate for the helm of the European Commission on July 3, while Charles Michel for the seat of European Council head.

Romanian President Iohannis: I am looking forward to a close collaboration

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis has congratulated Ursula von der Leyen. “I congratulate @vonderleyen on her election as @EU_Commission President. Looking forward to a close cooperation for a stronger Europe!” President Iohannis said in a Twitter post.

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