Varadkar hails nomination of Ursula von der Leyen for top EU position

Varadkar hails nomination of Ursula von der Leyen for top EU position
Ursula von der Leyen

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has hailed the nomination of Ursula von der Leyen for the European Commission Presidency.

The German defence minister was finally chosen by the European Council last night after three days of talks.

European heads of state also nominated IMF boss Christine Lagarde for the presidency of the European Central Bank.

The European Parliament will now vote on whether or not to appoint them, but the Taoiseach says Von der Leyden can count on the support of Fine Gael MEPs.

"As you know she is somebody from the CDU in Germany, somebody who is part of the political family which I belong to with Fine Gael, said Mr Varadkar.

"Somebody who is part of a group of people who has always stood by Ireland.

"So I am confident that the solidarity that we have had from Jean Claude Juncker will continue under the new commission at present - assuming of course that she is ratified by Parliament.

"She will have the support of Fine Gael MPs in that."

EU leaders have elected Belgian prime minister Charles Michel to be the next European Council president while Spanish politician Josep Borrell Fontelles has been nominated as High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Speaking last night, Donald Tusk, the current Council president said: "We have proposed Ursula von der Leyen as the next president of the European Commission and nominated Christine Lagarde as the candidate for president of the European Central Bank.

“We have elected Charles Michel as the next president of the European Council and president of the Euro Summit, as well as nominated Josep Borrell as the candidate for high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy.

“It will now be for the European Parliament to consider Ursula von der Leyen for Commission president. If elected, she will be the first woman to lead the European Commission.

“Charles Michel will, with his experience as Belgian prime minister, be ideal for finding consensus and building unity among member states.”

The new holders of the top positions will play a key role in negotiating the UK’s future relationship with the EU with the next British prime minister.

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.

EU leaders spent more than a week allocating the jobs – meeting for a fruitless summit on June 20, then reconvening over the weekend and again on Tuesday.

- Additional reporting by Press Association

More on this topic

Irish authorities failing to fully implement EU directive on pesticides, audit findsIrish authorities failing to fully implement EU directive on pesticides, audit finds

EU Commission chief to have emergency gallbladder operationEU Commission chief to have emergency gallbladder operation

Renault faces EU emissions challenge with its ‘cash cow’ Dacia cars unitRenault faces EU emissions challenge with its ‘cash cow’ Dacia cars unit

Gold destined for Zurich and New York stolen in Brazil airport heistGold destined for Zurich and New York stolen in Brazil airport heist

More in this Section

Contractors told they had two weeks to leave IrelandContractors told they had two weeks to leave Ireland

Man, 70s, dies after getting into difficulty swimming in Galway beachMan, 70s, dies after getting into difficulty swimming in Galway beach

Irish man dies after incident in New YorkIrish man dies after incident in New York

Portuguese fishing boat detained until €150k bond paidPortuguese fishing boat detained until €150k bond paid


Lifestyle

A parent coach says parents are often the best judge of how to care for their baby – and explains how they can learn to have faith in their intuition.Ask an expert: How can I know what’s best for my baby?

We take a trip down memory lane and check out what happened on this day in years gone by by looking back at some Irish Examiner front pages and highlighting other events which went down in history across the world.August 23, 2019: A look back at what happened on this day in years gone by

Romantic florals to 1970s chic, fun femininity to gothic grunge —we showcase the top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas, with a focus on the most exciting and diverse designer labels.Coming at you: The top autumn/winter looks at Brown Thomas

RP O’Donnell says it is hard to find anywhere better than Boston to show your family a great time as he returns to a city he used to call homeA family friendly holiday guide to get the best out of beautiful Boston

More From The Irish Examiner