At the European Parliament in Strasbourg, EPP Group Chairman Manfred Weber welcomes the nominee for European Commission president, German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, a member of the EPP family. As Parliament’s strongest political force, the EPP Group pledges to work closely with the Commission during the next five-year term. The European People’s Party was always reliable and a responsible group. So we always took our responsibility when it was needed for the future of Europe, and we will do the same now. While Weber had been the Group’s candidate for the Commission presidency, he remains the group’s chairman, as Parliament and the other EU governing bodies reconfigure after the May election. I’m proud to be a group leader in this house, and I still will fight, continue my work and still fight for a democratic Europe which is in the hands of the citizens of this continent. In electing its new leadership, Parliament chose five EPP Group members as vice presidents. Re-elected are Mairead McGuinness, the top vote-getter, Rainer Wieland and Lívia Járóka. Newly elected are former Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopac and Othmar Karas of Austria. I’m very honoured to have gotten a very massive vote, as first vice-president of the European Parliament, and I intend to use my influence and my responsibility to deliver for the people I represent. So let us get on with the work that we have to do, as elected politicians, and to thank my colleagues who did put their trust in me. There are a lot of challenges, but along the lines of my previous issues, it is very important to courageously go ahead with building policy. We have buildings that are no longer sufficient from an environmental point of view, from a security point of view and from modern aspects are no longer sufficient. And I also believe that we must be better able to get the MEPs to communicate with the citizens, to ask and respond to citizens. In Europe I would like to lower the poverty level. We have 120 million people waiting for an action plan. And these good practices should be used in Africa and Asia for a better and more equal world. We are a crossroads, because of populism, because of authoritarianism, because of the shady backroom dealing in the Council. Therefore we must now take care that there is no decision in Europe without the European Parliament on board. And that the European Parliament, as the chamber of the citizens, try harder to strengthen the trust of the citizens. Also among the priorities for the EPP Group: affordable energy and the fight against climate change, trade deals that are fair for Europeans, helping both farms and small businesses to thrive, more investment for jobs, maintaining secure borders, and fighting terrorism.