EU leadership takes office touting green ambition
The EU’s new leadership took office yesterday, one month later then planned, promising a more united Europe that would be ready to face major challenges, especially fighting climate change. Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen became president of the European Commission and marked the occasion in a short ceremony with her top EU counterparts, including EU Council President Charles Michel who also started on Sunday.
The team took the reins as the 28-member union is faced with a mountain of difficulties, including the Brexit divorce with Britain and rising tensions with superpowers China and the United States. Von der Leyen said the officials gathered, who also included European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, must meet a great responsibility as guardians of the European Union treaties.
“It is a responsibility towards the European people and towards our founding father and mothers, but it is also a responsibility towards our children,” she said. “It is our responsibility to leave a union that is stronger than the one we inherited: ... a continent in peace with rights and liberties (and) a single market with unprecedented economic opportunities,” she said.