EU COMMISSION CHIEF NOMINEE Ursula von der Leyen attends German cabinet meeting


German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, appointed by European Union leaders as the next head of the bloc’s executive, attended the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday before she was expected to attend a session of the European Parliament, the approval of which she needs to take on the job.

An official with the assembly’s largest faction, the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), said von der Leyen would be in the parliament – sitting in the French city of Strasbourg – on Wednesday afternoon and attend the group’s meeting at 1300 GMT.

Polyglot von der Leyen’s nomination as European Commission chief aims to prevent the European Union from splintering, but her patchy record in Germany’s cabinet may yet raise questions about her suitability for the EU executive post.

Von der Leyen, German defence minister since 2013 who would be the Commission’s first woman chief, was picked by EU leaders as a unity candidate and part of a package to break a summit stalemate over who should run the EU’s top institutions.