Ursula von der Leyen has secured the European Council's backing for a renewed mandate as President of the European Commission. However, the final decision rests with the European Parliament, where von der Leyen, can expect support from the Populars, Socialists, and Liberals.

Despite this coalition, her majority is slim, holding just 38 seats above the threshold.

In addition to von der Leyen's endorsement, the European Council nominated Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas, a 47-year-old Liberal, as the new High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy.

The Council also appointed António Costa, 62, the former Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister, as its president.

Von der Leyen's path to securing her mandate will involve a confidence vote in the European Parliament, likely to occur by mid-July in Strasbourg. Currently, her majority consists of 399 seats, surpassing the required minimum of 361. To solidify her position, von der Leyen may seek to broaden her support base, potentially drawing in conservative parties like Italy's Fratelli d’Italia and Belgium's N-VA, as well as some Green parties.

Last week's negotiations saw representatives from the three main centrist political groups in Europe endorse von der Leyen, Costa, and Kallas. Subsequently, other European leaders have also supported these appointments.

Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni expressed dissatisfaction earlier in the week, feeling sidelined in the negotiations for these top EU positions despite her party's significant presence as the third-largest group in the European Parliament after the June elections. Consequently, Meloni abstained from backing von der Leyen for a second term and voted against the appointments of Costa and Kallas.

The upcoming confidence vote in the European Parliament will be crucial in determining the final composition and stability of the EU's new leadership team, reflecting the ongoing political maneuvering within the Union.

Implications on the EU Green Deal

The recent EU leadership appointments have mixed implications for the European Green Deal. While von der Leyen’s continuity offers stability, her narrow majority and potential opposition from certain member states could complicate the legislative process. The roles of Kaja Kallas and António Costa, alongside the broader political dynamics within the European Parliament, will significantly shape the future of the EU’s climate ambitions. Balancing economic, environmental, and political interests will be key to advancing the Green Deal amidst these new leadership changes.

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