EU leaders agree on who will lead them into the future

World Today

After marathon discussions, EU leaders agreed on who will lead them into the future.

Two men and two women were nominated for the four top jobs.

CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi reports.

EU leaders may have needed four summits to nominate candidates for EU top jobs, but across in Strasbourg on Wednesday, MEP’s needed but a day to make their choice.

Former Italian TV anchorman and longstanding Socialist MEP David-Maria Sassoli took over the reigns of the Presidency of the European Parliament for a two-and-a-half year term.

“I am so moved to be taking over the presidency of the European Parliament and having been elected by you to represent the institution which more than the others, has a direct link with our citizens,” EU Parliament President David-Maria Sassoli said.

Sassoli’s appointment completes the new EU lineup and follows a long drawn-out EU leaders summit in Brussels.

“We have chosen two men and two women for the four key positions. A perfect gender balance. I am really happy about it, after all, Europe is a woman,” EU Council President Donald Tusk said.

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel is president-elect of the European Council. Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell got the nod for the EU Foreign Affairs Chief brief. The current chief of the International Monetary Fund Christine Lagarde is in line for the European Central Bank Presidency and German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen is poised to become the first ever female President of the European Commission.

“For me it’s a really good candidate for EU Commission. I’ve really defend and supported her. It wasn’t a German choice. The German choice was Manfred Weber – the Lead candidate proposed by the EPP Party. She (Von der Leyen) is a leader with experience and competence for the job. She has been both a defense minister and social minister in Germany,” French President Emmanuel Macron said.

But not all gave Von Der Leyen a glowing review.

“It is a known fact in Germany that she is a lame duck minister. So once again after Oettinger, Merkel sends basically end of career politicians to occupy major functions at the European level. I do not considered that as a sign of respect,” Belgian Green MEP Phillippe Lamberts said.

MEP’s will get the chance to formally grill Von De Leyen in mid-July and decide if she has the experience to take on one of the most important jobs in Europe.