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Ursula von der Leyen, the next president of the European Commission, delivers a speech. Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen, the next president of the European Commission, delivers her speech at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, July 16, 2019 (AP photo by Jean-Francois Badias).

Can von der Leyen Tackle the EU’s Internal Divisions and External Crises?

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Ursula Von der Leyen, the former defense minister of Germany, was narrowly confirmed as the next president of the European Commission this week. She will take the helm in Brussels at a difficult time, with widening fissures among European Union member states and a rising challenge from far-right, euroskeptic political movements across the continent. Von der Leyen and other top EU leaders will need to tackle these internal challenges while navigating the tumultuous Brexit process, addressing the crisis in U.S.-Iran relations, and managing the EU’s difficult relationship with the Trump administration.

In this week’s Trend Lines interview, WPR’s associate editor, Elliot Waldman, discusses these issues with Heather Conley, senior vice president for Europe, Eurasia, and the Arctic and director of the Europe Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

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Trend Lines is produced and edited by Peter Dörrie, a freelance journalist and analyst focusing on security and resource politics in Africa. You can follow him on Twitter at @peterdoerrie.

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