European Union nominee von der Leyen pledges strong action against climate change

Empty Promises? Ursula Von Der Leyen Would Support Brexit Extension

The vote to confirm von der Leyen as the next president of the European Commission will take place at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Her election was by a narrow margin.

"If she becomes president, it will be thanks to the votes of the far-right, rather than those of the strong pro-European majority", said the UK Greens, in a statement ahead of the vote.

"I did say this morning in my speech that I thought what she was offering Europe was an updated form of communism".

It is believed that an emergency summit will be held next week if Ms Von der Leyen is rejected.

The European Parliament voted 383-327 vote with 22 abstentions on Tuesday to approve von der Leyen's nomination.

"We expect that the issues you spoke about today in front of the plenary chamber will also be examined in depth and followed up by the members of your college during the hearings in the competent Parliament committees".

She said: "We can not talk about Europe without talking about our friends from the UK. We must strive for more".

"We have to have a just transition for all - the turf cutter from Ireland, the steel worker from Germany, the dairy farmer from Italy and the coal miner from Poland".

During her term, Germany has sent troops on unsafe deployments from Afghanistan to Mali while drawing frequent political fire from US President Donald Trump for what he considers Berlin's insufficient military spending.

Climate change played a decisive role after liberal, socialist and green blocs all demanded von der Leyen strengthen her climate platform as a condition for their support.

She is a mother to seven children.

Q: Why does it matter who serves as Commission President?

"Finally the first woman is at the helm of the EU Commission", he tweeted.

The new head of the European Commission is due to take power on November 1, immediately after the latest deadline for Britain's departure from the bloc.

Q: What are her plans?

She stated her support for a "new pact on migration & asylum" and Dublin Regulation reform, adding that she intends to ensure that Frontex border guards number 10,000 not by 2027, but by 2024, and that all countries should shoulder their fair share of the burden based on the principle of European solidarity.

She promised: "A climate-neutral Europe in 2015". She had already pledged the ambitious targets in letters to the two groups the previous day.

"I will ensure full gender equality" in her team of 28 commissioners.

After returning to Germany, von der Leyen got involved in local politics.

Bas Eickhout, a Dutch Green MEP, told von der Leyen in an earlier parliamentary session on Tuesday: "You are fiddling around with the minus 50%, minus 55% but what is Europe going to officially put on the table when [the] Paris [Agreement] officially starts in December 2020? The great challenges facing the world are so enormous that none of us alone can face up to them". In addition, she said she would seek a cut in European Union carbon emissions of up to 55 percent by 2030 and promised an overhaul of the bloc's migration and foreign policies.

Q: What are her views on Brexit?

"I very much regret that the United Kingdom has chose to leave the European Union".

"However, I stand ready for a further extension of the withdrawal date, should more time be required for a good reason", the former German Defence Minister added to catcalls from Brexit Party MEPs in the chamber. This is similar to remarks that have previously been made by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who suggested that an extension would only be considered in the case of a general election in the United Kingdom or a second Brexit referendum.



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