Several national flags
3 July 2019

The European Council agrees on the appointment of European Union leaders

Heads of State and Government have agreed to propose the German Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen, as the head of the Commission, and the Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, as President of the European Central Bank. The current Prime Minister of Belgium, Charles Michel, has been chosen to preside over the European Council, while the position of High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy will be entrusted to the Spaniard Josep Borrell.
The criteria of skills, experience, parity and political and geographical balance have been met by these appointments. All of the individuals appointed (only the President of the Council is formally appointed, the others are subject to the Parliament’s vote) have always shown a strong commitment to the European Union (Euro zone, European Defence).

France welcomes the establishment of a new entirely French-speaking team, and for the first time, the appointment of two women at the head of the Commission and the ECB.

These choices mirror the new political balances that follow the European elections, capable of applying the Strategic Agenda set out by the European Council and focusing on the main priorities of ecological transition, reform of the economic and social model and security. All of the individuals appointed follow these main lines.

These appointments are the result of a close understanding between France and Germany and of the ability to work with all European partners. Prior to and since the European elections, the President of the Republic has been in contact with all of his European counterparts on an almost daily basis.

The Commission will be formed in the next few weeks and take office on 1 November. The new President will need to take new inter-institutional initiatives to reform working methods and to clarify the rules regarding appointment to ensure that they are clearer and quicker. Finland’s presidency of the EU should be able to start working on this in collaboration with the European Parliament.

Such efforts will set the stage for the European conference that the President of the Republic has called for, which will pave the way for democratic renewal and greater effectiveness.

This is therefore a second stage in Europe’s development, with a new and very different team, with new faces and a new momentum, serving a new Agenda.