New EU Commission team enshrines gender equality

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Incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has named her choices for the EU’s new top team.

Those on her list face some difficult challenges, including handling the UK’s exit from the 28-nation bloc and the fight against climate change.

If approved by the European Parliament,  von der Leyen’s executive team will be the most gender-diverse in EU history, with 13 women and 14 men.

There is no UK nominee, as Brexit is currently scheduled for 31 October.

That exit date is the day before the new Commission takes office. MEPs will hold confirmation hearings for each nominee.

Based in Brussels, the Commission is in charge of enforcing EU rules and the bloc’s treaties. It is the only EU body that can draft laws.

Von der Leyen, Germany’s former defence minister, will officially replace Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on 1 November.

The new executive team of 27 – one for each member state – is planned to be in place for five years.

BBC reporter Adam Fleming says the appointments are considered hugely significant in Brussels – akin to the Oscars film awards – with national pride at stake.

Von der Leyen’s list features some new posts within the Commission, but who are the key players?