BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s conservative nominee to head the executive Commission proffered a raft of economic, environmental and social reforms on Monday, an eleventh-hour bid for support from EU lawmakers who will vote on her nomination on Tuesday.
Seeking to win over socialists, whose support for a majority of votes in the European Parliament remains uncertain, Ursula von der Leyen said she would back a guaranteed minimum wage for all EU workers and an unemployment benefit scheme.
Letters - Socialist - Leaders - Assembly - EU
In letters to the socialist and liberal leaders of the assembly, she also said that EU fiscal rules should be interpreted more flexibly and should aim for a more growth-friendly stance in the euro area – a stand that appears to defy Germany’s traditional policy of fiscal restraint.
Von der Leyen, currently Germany’s defense minister, would be the first woman to lead the powerful European Commission, which oversees trade negotiations, antitrust rulings and broad policy for 500 million Europeans.
Parliament - Strasbourg - Tuesday - Lawmakers - Debate
She will address the 751-member parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Lawmakers will then hold a debate and vote for or against her in a secret paper ballot at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT).
She needs the backing of an absolute majority, which would normally be 376. The assembly is currently four members short, which means she needs 374 votes from a total of 747. Diplomats say it is far from certain that she will cross that line.
Lawmakers - EU - Leaders - Horse-trading - Posts
Many lawmakers are angry that EU leaders, horse-trading over top posts at a summit this month, brushed aside the so-called “Spitzenkandidaten” – the main political groups’ candidates for Commission chief – and nominated von der Leyen instead.
If lawmakers reject her, it would be another blow for the bloc, which has been rocked in the last decade by the euro zone debt crisis, Britain’s decision to leave and the rise of far-right and...
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