Ursula von der Leyen gets things done—efficiently and calmly. In turbulent times, these skills are essential. She is a true Atlanticist—a German who was born and raised in Belgium, educated in the U.K. and Germany, and lived in the U.S. Her steady hand and cool head helped keep the transatlantic bond strong through challenging years when she was the Defense Minister of Germany. Her support was key as we strengthened NATO following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.
She continues to get things done at the European Commission. The pandemic recovery plan, the European Green Deal on climate change, the strong E.U. sanctions against Russia, and support for Ukraine all testify to this. And her leadership has helped raise the partnership between NATO and the E.U. to unprecedented levels.
It is always enlightening to speak to Ursula, not just about the latest crisis, but also issues like parental leave and child benefits, which are close to our hearts. I know she will continue to get things done—for a better world.
Stoltenberg is the secretary-general of NATO
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