Who are the proposed new top EU leaders?

The candidates for the most powerful roles in the EU have been agreed to

FILE PHOTO: German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen attends a news conference at the "Zenon" Coordination Center in Larnaca, Cyprus October 4, 2017. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou/File Photo
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Ursula von der Leyen – President of the European Commission – the EU’s most powerful arm

An ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Ms von der Leyen has served as Germany's Defence Minister since 2013 and was the first women to take on the role.

If accepted by the European Parliament, she also becomes the first female European Commission president.

Ms von der Leyen has also argued for a united EU army in the future. The mother of seven is respected for her strong relationships with international ministers.

Her father, Ernst Albrecht, served in a senior role for the commission.

Charles Michel - European Council

Belgium's departing prime minister, Mr Michel will lead the institution consisting of EU heads of state and government. The council helps to plot the political direction of the bloc.

As a representative of the Liberal faction of European politics, Mr Michel owes his elevation to the rise of Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche movement in France.

In October 2000, aged 25, he became Wallonia's regional minister for internal affairs and services and the youngest minister in Belgian history.

Mr Michel was forced to resign as Belgian prime minister last year after his coalition government fell apart in a scandal over migration.

Josep Borrell - High Representative

The Spanish Foreign Minister is a veteran of Spain's socialist governments and a former president of the European Parliament. He will now serve as the EU's foreign policy chief.

Mr Borrell’s appointment will raise regional concerns because of his controversial comments about Iran.

He was forced to resign as president of the European University Institute after claims of conflict of interest.

Christine Lagarde - European Central Bank chief

Ms Lagarde has served as French Finance Minister and the head of the International Monetary Fund.

She was a key figure during the international financial crisis after 2008 and has run the Fund since 2011.

A tireless world traveller, Ms Lagarde has again broken the glass ceiling for women in high posts. The international lawyer is the mother of two sons.

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