Kariņš backs Germany's von der Leyen as European Commission President

Latvia's Prime Minister voiced support July 2 for the appointment of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as the new President of the European Commission.

Prime Minister Krišjānis Kariņš (New Unity), who had played a role in hosting discussions within the European People's Party (EPP) grouping, said on social media that von der Leyen was "actively involved in Baltic regional security" and represented "A strong candidacy and a good choice to strengthen Europe!" 

60-year-old von der Leyen has visited Latvia several times during her tenure as Germany's Defense Minister, most recently in February, with Latvian Defense Minister Artis Pabriks returning the compliment in April during a trip to Germany.

Other nominees for top jobs - which must be confirmed by the European Parliament -  include Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as likely successor to Donald Tusk as European Council president and Spanish foreign minister Josep Borrell nominated to follow Federica Mogherini as EU foreign policy chief.

Meanwhile Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued a statement saying:

“I am honored to have been nominated for the Presidency of the European Central Bank. In light of this, and in consultation with the Ethics Committee of the IMF Executive Board, I have decided to temporarily relinquish my responsibilities as Managing Director of the IMF during the nomination period.”

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