The Strategist

Von der Leyen supports establishing position of European defense commissioner

02/16/2024 - 02:03

According to EC spokesperson Arianna Podesta, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is in favor of the idea to create the position of European defense commissioner and is likely to do so if she is reappointed.

European Parliament
European Parliament
"What I can say so far is that President von der Leyen welcomes the idea," Podesta stated.

She highlighted that the EC head is responsible for matters pertaining to the makeup of the EU executive board and the allocation of particular competences among its members. Therefore, it seems conceivable that von der Leyen will create the position of EU defense commissioner, which has never been, if she is reappointed for a second term in 2024.

The new EU executive board—which, like the current one, will have 27 members, one from each state—will be constituted following the European Parliament elections in June.

The notion of establishing a special office of European Defense Commissioner is being considered since the events in Ukraine have intensified the discussion over the EU's "defense identity" and "strategic autonomy" during the past two years. There was a renewed flurry of discussions in this subject following remarks made by former US President Donald Trump regarding the necessity for NATO members to make adequate defense investments.