How von der Leyen can make the EU a true global player

The European Commission president needs to pass a number of tests to stop Europe being overshadowed by the US and China

Ursula von der Leyen needs to get central and eastern Europe on board with her climate action plan or risk another front in a “culture war”

Ursula von der Leyen today takes office as president of the European Commission. She has promised to lead a commission that will avoid a scenario in which, as Emmanuel Macron recently warned, Europe might “disappear geopolitically” amid an escalating US-China rivalry.

To be sure, the European Union has the largest market in the world, the second-highest defence spending, 55,000 diplomats and the world’s largest development-assistance budget. Yet these strengths are constrained by the fragmentation of ...