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Christine Lagarde and Ursula von der Leyen: meet the EU’s next leaders

 |  July 3, 2019

After weeks of negotiations punctuated by gruelling summits, European leaders have announced their picks for the new top table of the EU. For the first time, two of Europe’s most important institutions will be headed by women.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, is set to head the European Central Bank, while Germany’s defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, has been put forward to lead the European Commission, the EU’s executive.

After months of speculation, neither had previously been named among the front-runners.

Charles Michel, Belgian prime minister, will become president of the European Council, while Josep Borrell, Spain’s foreign minister, is in line to be the bloc’s foreign policy chief.

Ms von der Leyen will be the first German to lead the commission in 50 years. Ms Lagarde had been mentioned as a possible successor to Jean-Claude Juncker at the commission, but she does not fit the usual central banking profile of other ECB leaders.

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