Published: Mon, December 02, 2019

European Union gets new leadership team

European Union gets new leadership team

New leaders have taken over at the top of the European Union during a turbulent time for the bloc. The former German defense minister becomes the first woman in the post.

Belgium's Charles Michel succeeded Donald Tusk as EU Council president and chair of the summits of EU leaders.

During their phone conversation on Sunday, President Moon congratulated von der Leyen for taking the reins, . anticipating the advancement of ties between Seoul and Brussels under her leadership. "Today we do more than look back, we celebrate a new beginning, with great enthusiasm and hope".

'We have overcome many obstacles to be standing here, prosperous and free in the heart of Europe, ' said Michel at the ceremony with David Sassoli, the new president of the European Parliament and the head of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde.

"We need to turn the promises of the past few months into results that improve people's lives", Mr Sassoli said.

The final commission line-up was approved by parliament on Wednesday and the new members were formally appointed by European Union leaders the following day.

Von der Leyen wants see the European Union play a more active role on the world stage, commit itself legally to carbon neutrality by 2050 and beef up its digital capacities and infrastructure.

At the commission's headquarters, as workers were still moving in office furniture and equipment, von der Leyen outlined her schedule, seeming somewhat relieved to be at work after "a hard and bumpy start" getting her policy commissioners approved by the European Parliament.

"On Friday, I am going to do my first trip outside the EU".

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