STORY: New European commission approved by EU lawmakers

Added On November 29, 2019

The European Parliament has approved a new European Commission led by Germany's Ursula von der Leyen, its first female president.

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The vote -- 461 in favor, 157 against and 89 abstentions -- was unsurprising following von der Leyen's efforts to clear remaining hurdles with EU lawmakers in recent days.
Her start since being named to the post has been shaky. The former German defense minister struggled through her first confirmation vote. Several European commissioners that she selected were voted down, which has delayed her taking office.
Her new Commission still has to be approved by the European Council before December 1.
Von der Leyen repeated her pledge to fight climate change and secure strategic autonomy during a speech on Wednesday.
SOUNDBITE (English): URSULA VON DER LEYEN, President-Elect of EC
"My Commission will not be afraid to speak the language of confidence, but it will be our way. The European way, this is the geopolitical Commission that I have in mind and that Europe urgently needs. We do not have a moment to waste anymore on fighting climate change as. The faster Europe moves, the greater the advantage will be for our citizens, our competitiveness and our prosperity. The 'European green deal' is a must for the health of our planet and our people and for our economy."
The term "geopolitical" has become one of von der Leyen's signature terms. It's understood to mean a bloc that is more active in external affairs.
Under von der Leyen's leadership, the new European Commission is expected to focus more on external affairs.