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New leaders take over at European Union

Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen and Belgium’s Charles Michel have taken senior jobs.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (Olivier Matthys/AP)
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks during an event to mark the 10th anniversary of the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty (Olivier Matthys/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

New leaders have taken over at the top of the European Union during a turbulent time for the bloc.

Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen officially replaced Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, two days after a handover ceremony, becoming the first woman in the job.

Belgium’s Charles Michel succeeded Donald Tusk as EU Council president and chair of the summits of EU leaders.

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From left, European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and European Parliament President Sassoli (Olivier Matthys/AP)

Ms Von der Leyen and Mr Michel marked the day in Brussels with events for the 10th anniversary of the Lisbon Treaty in the House of European History.

European Parliament President David Sassoli hosted the ceremony, welcoming the new leaders while calling on them to deliver on promises made to its 508 million citizens, saying “it is now time to act”.

“We need to turn the promises of the past few months into results that improve people’s lives,” Mr Sassoli said. “From the fight against climate change to tackling the rise in the cost of living, Europeans want to see real action.”

Momentum is building to face the challenge of climate change and Ms von der Leyen has said it will be a top priority for her.

PA

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