Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the special meeting of the European Council on 30 June – 2 July 2019

© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources© European Union, 2020, Source: Council of the EU – Audiovisual resources


Let me first of all thank you for your patience. I know that it has taken us longer than planned, but we are still on time. We have agreed the whole package before the first session of the European Parliament. Five years ago we needed three months to decide, and still some leaders were against. This year it was three days and nobody was against. Even if Germany abstained on the Commission president due to some issues in the government coalition. Personally, Chancellor Merkel supported the whole package. First and foremost, we have chosen two women and two men for the four key positions. A perfect gender balance. I am really happy about it. After all Europe is a woman. I think that it was worth waiting for such an outcome.

We have proposed Ursula von der Leyen as the next President of the European Commission and nominated Christine Lagarde as the candidate for President of the European Central Bank. We have elected Charles Michel as the next President of the European Council and President of the Euro Summit, as well as nominated Josep Borrell as the candidate for High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

It will now be for the European Parliament to consider Ursula von der Leyen for Commission President. If elected, she will be the first woman to lead the European Commission.

Charles Michel will, with his experience as Belgian Prime Minister, be ideal for finding consensus and building unity among Member States.

Josep Borrell will, as Foreign Minister and former President of the European Parliament, be a strong representative and defender of the European Union’s interests and values in the world.

Christine Lagarde will, with her international background and standing as current Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, be a perfect President of the European Central Bank.

In addition, the European Council took note of Ursula von der Leyen’s intentions to nominate Frans Timmermans and Margrethe Vestager as the highest-ranking Vice-Presidents of the Commission. We also expect Ursula von der Leyen to ensure an appropriate geographical balance in the team of Vice-Presidents.

I wish the new leaders all the best. Thank you.

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