The German defence minister, a long-time close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, was due to take over as Commission president on 1st November, succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker. Sylvie Goulard, her personal friend, nominated by French President Emmanuel Macron, was to be the commissioner responsible for the EU's internal market, industrial policy and defence. However, the EU parliament rejected Goulard’s appointment, meaning von der Leyen's inauguration could be delayed by up to a month. Read the mixed reaction to von der Leyen’s appointment here, here and here.
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