The members of the European Parliament have elected Ursula von der Leyen president of the next European Commission. The representative of the German Conservatives, a former minister of defense in Germany, she is the first woman to become head of the EC, for a five-year term due to start on November 1st.
Supported by the European People's Party, Ursula von der Leyen was also backed by some Social-Democrats and Liberals, but only after she firmly committed to supporting measures relating to gender equality within the Commission, observing the geographic and political balance in assigning the portfolios, a clear rule of law mechanism, migration and the fight against climate change.
The new head of the Commission has also promised to make efforts to strengthen European defense, to ensure a minimum European salary, to consider an extension of Brexit and reforms such as on the creation of the right of legislative initiative for the European Parliament or the adoption of transnational lists for the European elections. The next step is to form a team. Each country, including Romania, will have to propose a Commissioner and to negotiate the future portfolios. The nominated Commissioners will be heard in the specialized committees.
Also during the first session of the European Parliament, the Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila presented the results of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Bucharest will continue to support the European project and will also focus on completing its integration, Ms Dancila has stated. In her opinion, Europe should not be multi-speed, because progress is solid and the benefits for citizens real only when accomplished together. Prime Minister Viorica Dancila:
"We have committed to strengthening the European project and, during our six-month term, we proved that pro-Europeanism must be fueled by constant action. Our project should not promote a multi-speed Europe or a Europe of concentric circles. Romania will keep promoting the common goal of strengthening the European project, while at the same time focusing on completing its integration. I'm referring to the complete integration of our country into the Shengen area, where we have already been acting as a de facto member."
Leaders of all political groups have congratulated Romania for the way in which it managed to conclude a large number of complicated dossiers, in spite of many challenges. One different stand, however, was taken by the representative of the Renew Europe Group, who said the Romanian presidency was characterized by contrasts. (translated by M. Ignatescu)