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Von der Leyen: the right choice

The Members of the European Parliament have confirmed the choice of the heads of State and government to appoint Ursula von der Leyen to be the President of the European Commission as of 1st November next.

She is the right person for the right post.

It was time that Europe appoint a woman to lead its common institutions. In the international arena, this will certainly relativise the effects of the vain competition of alpha males in which the American, Chinese and Russian president have engaged and of whom the populations of the earth are weary.

Since she does not belong to the “Brussels Bubble”, a slightly endogamous European environment, her appointment confirms that there is no automatic link between the election results, which are still too national and an emerging European political life.

Strengthened by a long political experience at executive level and her work in both foreign affairs and defence, Ms von der Leyen is indeed good news for Europe, one of whose main challenges is to gain more clout in the world’s balance of power.

She presented a sound, practical programme and successfully withstood all ideological and also national pressures, which have little to do with the Union’s future. The ecologist representatives, who count for fewer than 10% of the members of the parliament and the German Social Democrats, who wanted to bring down the grand coalition in Berlin, have been thwarted.

Ursula von der Leyen will now be able to get down to drafting a detailed work programme for which the Heads of States have laid out a blueprint.

There was no need for dramatics over an appointment for which there was no hurry.

Once again, as always, the European Union has struck a decisive blow to the ignorant and the malicious, who cannot accept that it works, protects, promotes, achieves, appoint ; and that although there is still room for improvement, what the Union has achieved is considerable. It is up and running, and this is a good thing.