"We have an agreement - which hasn't been signed on both sides - and we have the backstop", she said, referring to a controversial provision in the deal negotiated by Mrs May to avoid extensive border controls on the Irish border after Brexit.
She also acknowledged the "bumpy start" she had gotten off to with the liberals, referencing the widespread disapproval of her surprise nomination over the candidates who had been announced before the European Parliament elections in May. However, the German defence minister comes with no track record on environment and sustainability, and with the Commission's work programme still unclear, her commitment to protecting nature and the climate is untested. "Having the backstop in the Brexit deal is precious, important and has to be defended".
The nominee to become to the next Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, has been meeting with various political groups in Brussels on Tuesday.
Von der Leyen's nomination had sparked harsh reactions within the European Parliament, as MEPs claimed the decision of the Council bypassed the lead candidates (Spitzenkanditaten) put forward by the political families all along the electoral campaign, and called EU leader's negotiation a "backroom horse-trade".
The announcement confirms the original plans, even though rumours had been circulating in Brussels over pushing back the vote to give von der Leyen more time to lobby MEPs.
"The president of the European Commission needs to be the guardian of the rule of law and European values". However, this depends on the EU's member states appointing women to be their commissioners - an appeal many ignored in 2014.
As explained by von der Leyen, such a solution is needed because, among other things, none of the member states is flawless. Her earlier meetings with the EPP, Eurosceptic group and socialists were not broadcast online.
Despite Green scepticism, she said she wholeheartedly supported the European Union going carbon neutral by 2050 and said the bloc should harvest benefits of environmentally-friendly policies.
But MEPs have signalled they would not be willing to agree to a smooth confirmation in the role for Mrs von Der Leyen due to her alleged vagueness on key issues the European Union has been facing. "That was my first impression of Europe", she said.
Ska Keller, co-leader of the Greens, blast: "The statements of Ursula von der Leyen were disappointing".
On Brexit, Ms von der Leyen described herself as a "Remainer" and expressed her desire for Britain to remain in the EU. Now the Parliament must vote on whether to approve her appointment and getting the blessing of MEPs is still far from certain.
Ms Von der Leyen, a 60-year-old former gynaecologist and mother of seven, spoke in favour of enlarging the eurozone and the EU's open-border Schengen area, provided that countries can meet the criteria.
She promised to focus on promoting the rule of law, digitalisation, competitiveness and the fight against climate change.