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16 July 2019 European Parliament elects Ursula von der Leyen as the first female President of the European Commission

On 16 July, the European Parliament elected Ursula von der Leyen as President of the European Commission, approving the European Council’s proposal. Von der Leyen, former Defence Minister of Germany, has been elected in a secret ballot with 383 votes. She managed to convince the three main pro-Europe parties (EPP, S&D and Liberals) with her speech in which she explains her priorities including the ecological transition, a European welfare state and a more integrated Union. According to her political program, she proposes to improve the EU external action, increasing about 30% the External Action’s budget. She focused also on migration, proposing a “New Pact on Migration and Asylum, including the relaunch of the Dublin reform”. Furthermore, she stressed the importance of reinforcing the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex). All these measures are aimed to re-establish a fully functioning Schengen Area. She will take office on 1 November 2019 for a five-year term, leading a Commission that will totally respect gender balance, as she declared during her speech.