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Next EU Commission chief wants to increase foreign spending

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen delivers her speech at the start of the Paris Peace Forum Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2019 in Paris. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, Pool)

PARIS — The next European Commission president says she wants to spend almost a third more on foreign policy goals over the next half decade to better establish the EU as a global player.

Ursula von der Leyen said Tuesday that the extra money is needed to develop a stronger strategic culture of the bloc, which is often criticized as high on ideals but low on effective impact.

Von der Leyen said at the Paris Peace Forum that “there is need for stable and responsible leadership. We all have to contribute.”

Her demand for more funds for such foreign policy goals comes at a time when EU member states are seeking to contain their budgetary contributions to the EU, especially with the departure of the UK, expected over the coming months.

The Associated Press