Ursula von der Leyen and her team of Commissioners will take office next Sunday, December 1st, and will participate the next day to COP 25, the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The new Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen received the approval of the European Parliament in Strasbourg this week with 461 votes in favour, 157 against and 89 abstentions. All the pro-EU parties supported Von der Leyen, except for Greens, who mostly abstained from the vote. "[…] But as Greens, we will work with you, on the Green Deal, on digitalization" said Bas Eickhout, vice-president of the party. Now the European Council has to approve the new team by a qualified majority before the Commission can take office on 1 December.
Looking ahead to COP25, the 2019 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, von der Leyen underlined in her confirmation speech how climate change is the critical challenge of our times and should be at the core of the action of the new EC. Within the Green New Deal, however, the social dimension should not be forgotten. "It is a generational transition towards climate neutrality by mid-century. But this transition must be just and inclusive – or it will not happen at all" stated von der Leyen.
The President of the Commission included the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of the action of the new Commission. Each Commissioner will be responsible for considering the SDGs within each European policy, and Paolo Gentiloni, Commissioner for the Economy, will overlook their general implementation. Being sustainable is one way to also ensure the competitiveness of the European industry. "We should never forget that competitive sustainability has always been at the heart of our social market economy" said the President-Elect. Finance will have an essential role to play if we want to transition to carbon neutrality. It "[…] will need massive investment. It will require public and private investment. The European Union will mainstream climate financing throughout its budget."
On 11 December, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will present her “European Green Deal” at the European Parliament during an an extraordinary session.
For more information:
EU Senior Project Manager
Von der Leyen Speech in Strasbourg (27.11.2019)