The EU ushers in its new heads of commission and council

The EU ushers in its new heads of commission and council

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang spoke on the phone with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Sunday, and discussed China-European Union (EU) relations and cooperation on such issues as multilateralism, free trade and climate change.

Mr Michel and Mr Tusk warmly hugged one another at European Union headquarters during the handover ceremony from the Polish Christian Democrat to the free-market liberal former Belgian prime minister.

Ms von der Leyen, a German politician who was the longest-serving member of Angela Merkel's cabinet, took the reins from Jean-Claude Juncker, the colourful Luxembourg politician who has reveled in tormenting Brexiteers over the past three years.

Von der Leyen, Michel and Lagarde were all nominated by European Union leaders as part of a personnel package in July. "With more weight and greater coherence in a rules-based world", Michel said.

"We need to turn the promises of the past few months into results that improve people's lives", Mr Sassoli said.

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At the commission's headquarters, as workers were still moving in office furniture and equipment, von der Leyen outlined her schedule, seeming somewhat relieved to be at work after "a hard and bumpy start" getting her policy commissioners approved by the European Parliament.

The change is due to the expiration of the terms of the EU's current leaders.

Showing that she is hitting the ground running on an issue of major European concern, von der Leyen heads Monday to Madrid for the global climate conference.

On Sunday, her first day at the helm, she repeated to journalists her objective to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, meaning carbon emissions should be fully offset by measures that cut CO2, like planting trees.

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