Europe to Get New Executive Next Week Amid Shift to Geopolitics
Syndicated by GEO´ Newsdesk Team
European Press Centre Málaga
The incoming president of the European Union’s executive arm vowed to shift the bloc’s focus onto geopolitics over the next five years, pledging sweeping legislative proposals
in areas ranging from climate change to artificial intelligence.
“This is an unsettled world where too many powers only speak the language of confrontation and unilateralism,”
Ursula von der Leyen told EU lawmakers in Strasbourg, France, in a thinly veiled reference to Donald Trump’s administration. “But it’s also a world where millions of people are taking to the streets to protest against corruption or to demand democratic change.”
The former German defense minister was confirmed by the EU Parliament at the helm of the European Commission on Wednesday. She will be in charge of proposing and enforcing regulation across a vast single market stretching from the Arctic circle to the shores of the Middle East, and negotiating trade deals on behalf of the bloc’s member states.
Von der Leyen said “My commission will not be afraid to speak the language of confidence and assertiveness” “This is the geopolitical commission that I have in mind, and that Europe urgently needs.”
(Source: European Parliament)
In a sign that she won’t avoid controversial geopolitical issues, she later defended the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, in a direct rebuff to French President Emmanuel Macron, who earlier this month said NATO was suffering “brain death” and that the EU should take on a more assertive role, in its own defence.
“The EU will never be a military alliance,” Von der Leyen said. “The European Union and NATO are complementary, not competitive.” Von der Leyen Says
The incoming president reiterated her pledge to unveil a European Green Deal, which will lead the EU toward zero net carbon emissions by mid-century. Any legislative proposals by the commission will be subject to amendments and approval by EU governments and the bloc’s assembly.
“If there’s one area the world needs our leadership it is on protecting our climate. This is an
existential issue for Europe and for the world,” von der Leyen told lawmakers. “And we do not have a moment to waste any more on fighting climate change.”
Von der Leyen closed her multi-lingual introductory speech during which she switched between English, French and German with “Long live Europe!”
In her keynote policy speech, von der Leyen also pledged the following actions:
- Make sure that by the end of her term, there’s a perfect gender balance among the senior managers of the commission
- Unveil legislation that will help make the EU a leader in digitalization and master key technologies such as artificial intelligence and quantum physics
- Unveil an EU plan to fight cancer early next year
- Unveil new legislative proposals to regulate artificial intelligence
- Maintain close ties with the U.K. post-Brexit
- Establish a framework to enable governments and companies to share data and to pool it securely, and an enhanced European Cybersecurity Agency Complete the EU’s banking union and capital markets union
Source: Nikos Chrysoloras and Ian Wishart Bloomberg
— With assistance by Alexander Weber
Updated on 27 November 2019, 14:11 CET