The EU’s most powerful Germans

The election of Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president was seen by many in Brussels as the naked confirmation of Germany’s political heft in the European Union. The truth is that the country has plenty of other arrows in its quiver.

Ursula von der Leyen’s disaster management

On paper, Ursula von der Leyen could not be better cast for this moment in EU history: Brussels-born; trilingual in German, French and English; a three-time Cabinet minister; the first ever female European Commission president; and — a Hollywood scriptwriter could hardly dream it up — a trained medical doctor with a master’s degree in public health leading the response to the coronavirus pandemic.