Von der Leyen secures powerful European Union executive top job

Empty Promises? Ursula Von Der Leyen Would Support Brexit Extension

Next EU chief Ursula von der Leyen says she would agree to a further Brexit delay

"I feel so honored and I am overwhelmed", she said in an immediate reaction.

Von der Leyen told Farage drily that she wants to work more closely with the United Kingdom, but that "we can probably do without what you've got to say", to applause from the gathered party representatives.

She told MEPs this morning that her view on Brexit is that it was a "serious decision" of the British people and "we regret it, but we respect it".

German minister Ursula von der Leyen was narrowly voted the new European Union chief on Tuesday.

Von der Leyen will step down as defense minister on Wednesday and will succeed Jean-Claude Juncker at the helm of the commission on November 1.

Germany's defence minister had been nominated by the leaders after 50 hours of arduous negotiations despite not being a spitzenkandidat, or lead candidate, who campaigned before May's European elections to head the EU's executive branch.

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The leader of the liberal Renew Europe group, Dacian Cioloș, said he expected that fewer than five of his 108 MEPs had voted against Von der Leyen, who spoke in fluent English, French and German during the debate in parliament.

The European Parliament will hold committee hearings in September to grill commissioner nominees, such as Ireland's Phil Hogan, and judge if they are up to the task.

In the letters, which have been seen by news agencies EURACTIV and Politico Europe, Von der Leyen confirms she would seek to secure a new "carbon neutrality" target in law within 100 days. The confirmation required an absolute majority of 374 votes.

"She is used to being underestimated as a woman, but has beaten men throughout her political career", said her biographer Daniel Goffart. We believe our voice is important - both in representing the pro-EU perspective and also to help rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the United Kingdom national press. "We think it is very important that the Council can not simply throw that in the trash with loud applause from right-wing populists".

Earlier in the day, von der Leyen had issued a wide array of policy promises in a speech ranging from climate change to youth job creation.

Calling the prospective future European Commission president's candidacy "an affront to the allegedly transparent EU-democracy", he added: "If anyone in the European Parliament wants to destroy the EU - he should vote for her".

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She then immediately addressed what she sees as the biggest challenge: climate change.

Germany's Ursula von der Leyen secured European parliamentary approval on Tuesday to become the first female European Commission president on a platform of a greener, fairer and rule-based Europe.

She added "it will need investment on a major scale", and funds would be made available for nations, mainly in eastern Europe, still dependent on polluting fossil fuels.

Von der Leyen in 2013 became the first woman to serve as defence minister, a notoriously hard portfolio given post-war Germany's touchy relationship with military affairs.

She said she would set up a climate division within the European Investment Bank to "unlock one trillion Euros of investment over the next decade".

"At the first look, Ursula von der Leyen has a strong worldwide profile and having served in different German governments knows politics and policies in Brussels very well", Miriam Hartlett-Zugehor, professor of political science at the Free University of Berlin, told Al Jazeera in a recent interview.

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