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EU Parliament: Von der Leyen (Commission), programmatic statement. “United Europe of peace, founded on values”

(Strasbourg) “A Europe based on peace, united, founded on shared values. This is the vision of Europe that has inspired my life as a mother, a doctor, a woman engaged in politics”. European Commission President nominee, Ursula Ursula von der Leyen, gave her programmatic statement before the European Parliament today: a 35-minute address, interspersed with bursts of applause. Her first reference was to a woman, Simone Veil, the first president of the European Parliament to be elected by universal suffrage. She went on to mention the “founding fathers and mothers” of the Community who, she said, “from the ashes of the war”, were able to “build an impressive and lasting work”. Ms Von der Leyen’s speech had a strong pro-European flavour. In her address, she was careful not to hurt the political balance of the House which will vote on her candidacy today at 6pm. She put great emphasis on the fight against climate change, on economic development and on boosting youth employment. She stressed the need for fair taxation and the importance of introducing a minimum wage. She then focused on the “social pillar” to make sure “all citizens – especially the most vulnerable – have what they need” in terms of education, employment, health, safety and security. Her attention then shifted to the fight against child poverty and to gender equality, before addressing other sensitive topics which could be decisive in determining the outcome of the voting – the defence of the rule of law and migration policies. “There is an obligation to save lives at sea”, she said, proposing a reform of the Dublin system, support to the countries facing the most pressure, and cooperation with countries of origin and transit”.

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