Ursula von der Leyen outlines plans for Europe in first press conference




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Published on Jul 10, 2019

After meetings with MEPs in Brussels on Wednesday (10 July), Ursula von der Leyen delivered a left-friendly pitch, touching upon all broad issues that will dominate the EU’s agenda in the coming term.

“I am a European of heart and conviction,” von der Leyen said, addressing the press for the first time since she was nominated to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker at the head of the EU executive.

Aware of the unease among the political families about her appointment, von der Leyen vowed to anchor the Spitzenkandidaten process, which the EU leaders cast aside this time and nominated her for the top job.

In a bid to show her commitment to a stronger EU democracy, von der Leyen announced she would concede some legislative initiative – exclusive to the Commission under the treaties – to the Parliament.

She committed to taking to the College of Commissioners any legislative resolution of the Parliament that is backed by an absolute majority, and see how it can be translated into political or legislative action.

Beyond these two concrete initiatives, von der Leyen called for a more ambitious climate agenda (“climate neutrality by 2050 is a must”), said she would fight for a minimum wage in Europe and called for a stronger role for the EU in the world.

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