July 16 (UPI) -- The European Commission on Tuesday elected Ursula von der Leyen, of Germany, to be the first woman to lead the bloc in its 61-year history.
Von der Leyen replaces outgoing President Jean-Claude Juncker, whose five-year term comes to an end in October. The German defense minister earned 383 votes, nine more than the absolute majority required.
"The trust you placed in me is confidence you placed in Europe," she told the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union.
"It is a big responsibility and my work starts now. Let us work together constructively."
The center-right won a plurality of seats in the European Parliament's May election, slightly more than the socialists and democrats. The Parliament, the legislative branch of the bloc, elected Italian journalist David-Maria Sassoli, as its president earlier this month.