Tue Jul 16th, 2019 at 06:28:37 PM EST
Von der Leyen confirmed as new Commission president by paper-thin majority - Euractiv
The European Parliament confirmed on Tuesday (16 July) Ursula von der Leyen by a paper-thin majority as the new European Commission president, giving her the reins of the EU executive for the next five years.
The German defence minister - a surprise candidate from the EPP, picked by the member states on 21 June - managed to convince a majority of Socialists and liberals in the Parliament with promises of reforms and climate action. She won 383 votes, compared to the minimum of 374 votes necessary, in a secret paper ballot - only nine more than the required minimum.
The votes against were 327 with 22 abstentions or blank vote.
In comparison, five years ago Jean-Claude Juncker was elected with 422 votes. The difference, however, is at that time, there were no doubts that the former prime minister of Luxembourg would get the top EU job. In the case of von der Leyen, a less known figure, who moreover was not even a Spitzenkandidat, uncertainty prevailed in the few weeks before the vote.
More importantly, it appears that the three mainstream groups, EPP, S&D and RE, voted predominantly in favour of the nominee proposed by EU heads of state and government, forging a majority which would be much needed in the years to come.
Other coverage from Deutsche Welle and the Grauniad.
Secret ballot, so no detail on how many in the EPP, S&D and RE voted for or against her.