Published: Thu, July 04, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

New EU leaders will not change course on Brexit: Tusk

New EU leaders will not change course on Brexit: Tusk

So would Ms Lagarde - now chair of the International Monetary Fund - and she would serve for up to eight years if her nomination is endorsed.

Ursula von der Leyen (Germany) is to become the new head of the European Commission, while Charles Michel (Belgium) is to be the next president of the European Council.

It was her own political group, the European People's Party, (EPP) that had invited the German defence minister to come to Strasbourg - but talks with other political party group leaders were also foreseen.

Timmermans, a hugely popular politician who was credited with the labour PvdA resurgence in recent European elections, remains first vice-president of the EU commission.

The discord echoed a wider fracturing of the EU's political center that was evident in May's European Parliament elections that delivered a more fragmented assembly in which no bloc won a majority and far-right and far-left groups performed strongly.

"Christine Lagarde will.be a ideal president of the European Central Bank", Tusk said.

The challenge is to name a group of new leaders of the European Union institutions that respect the 28-nation bloc's political affiliations, geography - a balance of countries from the north and south, east and west - population size and to have at least two women nominated.

"Von Der Leyen is a very good candidate and a very good choice to head the European Commission", told journalists.

They will be responsible for deciding whether to agree to any changes to the Withdrawal Agreement - which both Tory leadership candidates are pledging to make - in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit. So, if elected, Ursula von der Leyen would start her new job the day after Brexit day.

German defense minister Ursula von der Leyen (CDU) will replace Jean-Claude Juncker as head of the European Commission for a five-year term, with International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde getting the European Central Bank (ECB) top job.

As for the German military, Politico reported "a cloud of allegations of misspending and mismanagement" over military contracts as news of her selection broke on Tuesday. A Bulgarian candidate for parliament president, Sergei Stanishev, was supported by EU leaders but eventually was rejected by most conservative and socialist lawmakers, against the will of deputies from eastern European countries. Then the 751 members of the European Parliament vote on that candidate.

Outgoing European Council chair Donald Tusk hailed "the flawless gender balance" of the outcome and said that current EU Commissioners Margrethe Vestager and Frans Timmermans would become EU commission vice presidents.

EU leaders have to seal a deal on Tuesday or risk being overtaken by the new European Parliament, which holds an inaugural session after a continent-wide election in May.

Von der Leyen has been German defence minister since 2013 and was previously responsible for labour, social affairs, family, women's and youth affairs portfolios. Mr Timmermans has been offered a commission vice presidency, along with Margrethe Vestager of Renew Europe.

Ska Keller from Germany, Sira Rego of Spain, David-Maria Sassoli of Italy and Jan Zahradil from the Czech Republic.

"She will focus on issues that are extremely important for the future of the European Union", said Rosa Balfour, an analyst with the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

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