Ursula von der Leyen unveils new European Commission

Nicolas Schmit has been selected by von der Leyen to take on the jobs portfolio

The creation of a defence branch in the European Commission, long resisted by Britain, is an attempt by President-elect Ursula von der Leyen to stem a decline in EU influence, as it faces heavy US pressure to do more for its own security.

The EU is keen to champion the rules-based global trading system now under attack from the Trump administration, and vulnerable to the escalating trade war between the United States and China. "I owe him a lot", von der Leyen concluded. League leader Matteo Salvini, meanwhile, blasted Premier Giuseppe Conte's decision to propose Gentiloni as Italy's nominee for the new European Commission.

"Of course, if Brexit does happen then the Trade Commissioner would be heavily involved in any negotiations on a future trading relationship between the European Union and UK", Kelly argued.

The European Commission's next chief is to unveil her new executive team on Tuesday that, from November 1, will take on a range of tricky challenges, from climate change to an unpredictable U.S. and the Brexit aftermath.

The European Parliament only narrowly only narrowly backed Von der Leyen's appointment in July as the first female head of the EU executive.

That issue has taken on added urgency with ominous signs of a possible global recession, or at least a pronounced slowdown not helped by the US-China trade war.

The former centre-left premier and former foreign minister is set to be the first Italian to hold this position.

IRISH politician Phil Hogan is likely to be chosen as the EU's top trade negotiator this week and the appointment could prove disastrous for the United Kingdom as Mr Hagan would hold all the cards in future trade talks with Britain.

That is why on Tuesday, attention will be focused on how she divvies up portfolios among the dominant political families, as well as among western and eastern European Union states, and how her priorities will be reflected by the heft of each directorate.

Following the announcement of Johannes Hahn's nomination as future EU Budget Commissioner, the President of the National Council, Wolfgang Sobotka, expects the experienced European politician to perform sovereignly before the European Parliament.

Johannes Hahn, as a long-standing EU Commissioner, is appreciated not only in Austria by all political groups.

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