It will be able to start work on December 1.
PARIS – Members of the European Parliament (EP) approved the new composition of the European Commission (EC) under the leadership of Ursula von der Leyen. The vote took place on Wednesday at the plenary session in Strasbourg. The meeting was broadcast on the EP website.
461 deputies voted for the proposed commissioners, 157 against, 89 abstained. 707 parliamentarians participated in the vote. “Approved”, – stated the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli.
On Twitter, the speaker thanked European MPs for the mandate given to the Commission. “The new composition of the European Commission is ready to start work. Congratulations to Ursula von der Leyen and her team,” he wrote. Sassoli urged the commissioners to “work together for Europe to change for the better” and focus on the issues that concern Europeans in the first place.
Josep Borrell (Spain) will become the EU high representative for foreign Affairs with the rank of Deputy Chairman of the Commission. The portfolio of von der Leyen’s Deputy was also received by Frans Timmermans (Netherlands), who will deal with environmental problems. Other Deputy heads of the EC will be Vera Jourova (Czech Republic), who is charged with protecting European values and ensuring transparency, Margrethe Vestager (Denmark) – digital technologies, Maros Sefcovic (Slovakia) – inter-institutional relations.
Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia) will deal with the economic bloc, Dubravka Shuica (Croatia) – demography, Margaritis Schinas (Greece) – “protection of the European way of life.”
On Monday morning, Ursula von der Leyen presented her priorities for the next five years. She addressed MEPs with a thirty-minute speech on Wednesday at a session of the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
She stressed that as the first woman to head the European Commission, she believes it is necessary “that the principle of gender equality is respected at all levels.” “In any case, we must be one team that works for the benefit of common interests. My message is simple – let’s get to work,” von der Leyen said.
During her speech, she focused on several areas, the work on which she considers a priority. Among them are climate protection, development of digital technologies and innovations. “We must continue on our European path in the digital age,” she said.
Separately, von der Leyen highlighted the role of Europe as a”defender of multilateralism.” “In this world, many powers speak the language of confrontation and unilateral approaches,” she said. – That is why the world requires our participation, so that Europe, as a defender of multilateralism, is a force for peace. The world needs our leadership more than ever before.”