Last-minute nominee Ursula von der Leyen has narrowly won the presidency of the European Commission after a necessarily brief campaign where climate change rapidly became a central theme and a marathon debate in Strasbourg that saw MEPs repeatedly refer to an “existential threat”.
In a secret paper ballot, Von der Leyen secured the backing of 383 members of the 751-strong European Parliament. With a few members yet to take up their seats, she needed a minimum of 374 votes for an absolute majority. Her appointment was opposed by 327 lawmakers, while 22 abstained and one ballot was left blank.
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