The previous day, there were long and fierce discussions in the Parliament of the European Union about a suitable candidate for the post of President of the European Commission. The candidacy of 60-year-old Ursula von der Leyen, a German politician and former German defense minister, was the only one, but the debate between the leaders of the EU countries lasted for three days. As a result, a decision was made: in November, von der Leyen will replace Jean-Claude Juncker, who has been acting head of the European Commission for five years, as his post. What is known about Frau Ursula?
Her great-grandfather is one of the most successful manufacturers of the Russian Empire
Ursula von der Leyen is the daughter of Ernst Albrecht, former Prime Minister of Lower Saxony and influential representative of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany. Ernst's mother is Louise, the daughter of one of the most successful entrepreneurs in Russia in the 19th century, Baron Ludwig Knop. Knop, a native of Bremen, was active and profitable in the cotton trade and opened many spinning mills in Russia.
Ursula has several specializations
After graduating from high school, von der Leyen studied archeology, then economics at the University of Göttingen and the London School of Economics and Political Science. After that, the lady decided to sharply retrain and studied at the Higher Medical School in Hanover with a specialization in gynecology, in 1991 she defended her thesis and became a doctor of medicine. Ten years later she received her master's degree in public health.
Von der Leyen has been in politics for almost 30 years
Since 1990 she has been a member of the Christian Democratic Union, from 1996 to 1997 she was a member of the Social Policy Committee of the CDU of Lower Saxony. In 2005, Ursula took over as head of the Ministry for Family, Women, Youth and Elderly Affairs, and since then has actively supported Angela Merkel (read also: “Angela Merkel, as few people know (or remember) her”).
She is Germany's first "Frau Defense Minister"
In 2013, Von der Leyen became the first female head of the Bundesministerin der Verteidigung - the German Federal Ministry of Defense. According to German law, she also acted as the commander-in-chief of the country's Armed Forces.
Ursula is married to an old family
Ursula married Heiko von der Leyen, a professor of medicine in 1986. Heiko comes from an old noble silk maker in Krefeld. The couple have seven children: the couple's first-born David Echter was born in 1987, and the youngest daughter, Grazia Diotima, in 1999.
Photo: Getty Images
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