Ursula von der Leyen has known as Donald Trump’s discussions of NATO “immature,” questioned why he wants to be a “finest buddy” with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and even recommended the president is uncomfortable with influential feminine leaders.
Now she’ll be his primary counterpart in the European Union.
On Tuesday, von der Leyen became the European Fee’s next president, narrowly winning an election in the European Parliament. The new role for von der Leyen, who has been Germany’s defense minister since 2013, will put her at the forefront of negotiations with the U.S. over commerce, know-how, and other significant issues. But while von der Leyen has many admirers among American and European national security officials, even some of her followers worry that her ascent to the fee presidency will further fray the tenuous U.S.-EU relationship beneath Trump.
Von der Leyen’s rise to the EU Fee presidency was a surprise. She was not one of the authentic lead candidates put forth by major political blocs but emerged as a consensus pick when European leaders found themselves at loggerheads after hours of fruitless meetings.
When von der Leyen next visits Washington, she may have to tread carefully, given her many characteristics doubtless to provide Trump pause.
Von der Leyen, often referred to as VDL, is close to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has long had a tense relationship with Trump. The president has criticized Merkel on every little thing from Germany’s trade practices to its acceptance of some 1 million refugees.
Von der Leyen has suggested that Trump’s uneasiness toward Merkel maybe because he’s not used to dealing with influential feminine leaders.