The Brief: von der Leyen wants to move into Berlaymont

The Brief: von der Leyen wants to move into Berlaymont
By Jack Parrock
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Ursula von der Leyen suggests a residence next to her office during her term as Commission president.


Brussels is having to defend the decision of it's incoming new president Ursula von der Leyen after she ordered a living quarters to be created next to her office.

"I don't think it's ever been considered the need for a residence to be created for the president. As a Commission we just grew and made decisions as they came," EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger explained.

They also insist the plan for her to move into the Berlaymont will save money and commuting time.

"There are many arguments in favour of the new president being able to stay here overnight - namely security," Oettinger said.

But a fundamental principle of the European Union is to protect workers rights, and European workers groups are worried about the example von der Leyen is setting.

"You shouldn't have to be at your office morning, noon and night. You shouldn't have to answer your phone morning, noon and night. So it's very worrying the message that she's sending out about being constantly present. She has such a great example as a woman, as a mother, having a really good career, but you shouldn't have to live at work to be successful in your career," Deputy General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation Esther Lynch said.

Commissioner President-elect von der Leyen is set to make the Berlaymont her home for 5 days a week when her mandate begins in December.

And other news in brief...

Brussels. The European Parliament is demanding better bee protection, opposing a move by member states and the EU Commission to weaken pesticides protocols.

Lawmakers raised objections around the long-term risks pesticides may pose to bees.

They argued that the latest proposal by Brussels on how to test pesticides failed to consider the impact of agrochemicals on the insects.

Poland.  According to a government study quoted by EurActiv, Poland will be among the countries most affected by Brexit.

In total, Brexit can cost Poland up to 35,000 jobs and at least 0.14% of GDP.

The agri-food industry is set to lose the most, as it constitutes around 20% of all exports from Poland to the UK.

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