MEPs give green light to von der Leyen’s European Commission
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
MEPs approved von der Leyen's new College of Commissioners on Wednesday. Credit: Belga.
MEPs gave the green light on Wednesday to Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission, which will officially take over from Jean-Claude Juncker this Sunday 1 December.
In a vote that took place on Wednesday at around 12:00 PM, MEPs approved the new College of Commissioners with 461 votes in favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions. There were more votes in favour for von der Leyen’s Commission than there were for the Juncker Commission at the time (423 MEPs voted in favour of Juncker’s Commission).
During her opening statement, von der Leyen asked “each member of (her) college to set up a cabinet with the same number of women as men,” Belga news agency reports.
“By the end of our mandate, we will have achieved equality between men and women at all levels of management. This will be a great first,” von der Leyen explained, adding that “these developments will change the face of the Commission.”
The President-elect also emphasised that important investments will be made so that Europe can lead the way on a number of issues, such as environmental protection and climate change, growth, inclusion, innovation and digitalisation, as well as the protection of democracy, European values, citizens’ rights and the rule of law, a press release on the approval of the Commission explains.
The designated commissioners have all received the go-ahead from the parliamentary commissions linked to their portfolios. Following some changes, notably the rejection of three Commissioners initially proposed by France, Romania and Hungary the make-up of the Commission is slightly different from the one originally envisioned, but is in theory ready to go to work.
The new Commission was originally meant to come into office on 1 November but it was delayed until 1 December.
Von der Leyen is the first woman to be President of the European Commission.