Ursula von der Leyen elected European Commission chief: Three takeaways

Ursula von der Leyen was elected Tuesday as the first woman to head the European Commission by a short majority of the newly-elected European Parliament, who confirmed the choice made by EU leaders earlier this month.

The German defense minister was chosen for the job she will take up on November 1 by a broad coalition of centre-right conservatives and liberals, with the help of MEPs from some euroskeptic parties, such as Italy’s 5-star movement.

Von der Leyen, 60, will head the EU’s top executive body for the next five years. The bloc faces both medium-term economic headwinds and longer-term political challenges, marked by the rise of euro-sceptic parties and divisions among governments on whether or how to move European integration forward.

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