July 16, 2019 / 6:48 AM / a month ago

Germany's Weber urges EU lawmakers to back von der Leyen in top job vote

German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated as European Commission President, sits next to EU Parliament's political group European People's Party (EPP) president Manfred Weber at the European Parliament to attend a EU Parliament's political group European People's Party (EPP) meeting in Strasbourg, France , July 3, 2019. REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

BERLIN (Reuters) - German conservative Manfred Weber urged EU lawmakers to back Ursula von der Leyen as the next head of the European Commission in a knife-edge vote on Tuesday, warning that a rejection would create political instability in Europe.

“We don’t need opposition now, what we now need is a constructive spirit,” Weber told ZDF television. Weber, himself a former candidate for the EU’s top job, said that von der Leyen was a political bridge-builder and a passionate European.

Von der Leyen, an ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, faces a make-or-break vote on Tuesday evening in her quest to become the European Commission’s first female leader.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Editing by Thomas Seythal

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