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EU Commission: Germany’s Von der Leyen elected head after MEPs vote

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Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen has been narrowly elected president of the EU Commission following a secret ballot among MEPs.

The centre-right defence minister will replace Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November.

She secured the backing of more than half of the members of the European parliament on Tuesday evening.

The Commission drafts EU laws, enforces EU rules and has the power to impose fines on member states if necessary.

“The trust you placed in me is confidence you placed in Europe,” Mrs von der Leyen, who is the first woman to be elected president of the European Commission, said in a speech immediately after the vote.

“Your confidence in a united and strong Europe, from east to west, from south to north.”

“It is a big responsibility and my work starts now,” she added. “Let us work together constructively.”

She was confirmed by a margin of 383 votes to 327. She needed the backing of 374 out of 747 MEPs to win.

A total of 751 MEPs were elected in May, but four were absent for Tuesday’s vote.

BBC

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