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Christine Lagarde. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

After weeks of deadlock, 28 European heads of state have announced four nominees to fill the EU's top jobs, including International Monetary Fund chair Christine Lagarde to be the next president of the European Central Bank.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Felix Salmon: Once again, a French national has the most powerful job in Europe. Lagarde has done an excellent job of leading the IMF, and she also ran the French Treasury with aplomb during and after the global financial crisis. She is not an economist, but she has the respect of markets.

  • The New York Times' Neil Irwin notes: "The important thing here is not that Lagarde will be more/less dovish than other candidates would've been, but that the ECB will be led by someone with real political clout."

Lagarde announced on Twitter that she would "temporarily relinquish" her responsibilities as IMF managing director during the nomination period. She would be the first female president of the ECB.

Full slate of nominees:

  • German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen as European Commission president.
  • Outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel as European Council president.
  • Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as high representative for foreign affairs.
  • IMF head Christine Lagarde as ECB president.

The big picture: The nomination was especially difficult this year due to the fractured parliament that resulted from May's European elections. The center-right and center-left establishment groups lost significant ground, leading many — including French President Emmanuel Macron — to argue that they no longer had a mandate to hoard Europe's top jobs.

What to watch: The European Parliament will now vote on the nominations, starting with von der Leyen as president. If confirmed, as expected, she would be the first woman to hold the EU's top job.

Go deeper: 6 key takeaways from the critical European elections

Go deeper

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.
4 hours ago - Health

Standardized testing becomes another pandemic victim

Photo: Edmund D. Fountain for The Washington Post via Getty

National standardized reading and math tests have been pushed from next year to 2022, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: There’s mounting national evidence that students are suffering major setbacks this year, with a surge in the number of failing grades.

4 hours ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.