Maneuvers over the EU. European Council President van der Leyen – wants to negotiate key positions without Politico

European Council President Charles Michel does not intend to invite the head of the Commission to an informal summit of EU leaders on June 17 at the end of his mandate, Politico.eu writes on Tuesday, which reports that he has spoken with leaders. About this possibility the state and government and their advisers, Agerpres informs.

Charles Michael and Ursula van der LeyenPhoto: KENZO TRIBOUILLARD / AFP / Profimedia

According to politico.eu, this information was confirmed by seven ambassadors and officials of member states of the European Union or the government.

The competition for the two top officials has been a long-standing diplomatic embarrassment for the EU, the European News Portal writes, perhaps best illustrated by the “sofagate” scandal, in which Ursula van der Leyen was invited to sit on the sofa at a diplomatic meeting. In Turkey, Charles Michael sat in front of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

“Member states are increasingly irritated by Charles Michel’s role in the selection process for the head of the commission. He seems motivated by purely personal reasons,” said one EU diplomat, who, like all of Politico’s sources for this article, is protected by anonymity. As the June 17 meeting was an informal summit, it was Charles Michel who was invited to a dinner with EU leaders.

Diplomats and quoted officials said there was a strong negative reaction from European capitals against Michael’s proposal. The historic rivalry between Michael and van der Leyen plays a major role in this irritation. Many European capitals are under the impression that Michael is attacking Van der Leyen at the end of his tumultuous presidency and trying to thwart his bid for a second term as Commission president.

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In discussions with EU leaders and their advisers, Michel suggested that van der Leyen be excluded from the meeting because he is also the primary candidate of the European People’s Party and wants a second term as president of the institution.

Leaders must agree on the future presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament, as well as the future High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. Some suspect Michael is plotting to insert himself into the race for top jobs, targeting the EU foreign policy chief. “If he wants to remove her from the room, he should also remove himself,” said one EU diplomat. A spokesman for Charles Michael did not respond to a request for comment on the allegation.

The current predicament is unprecedented, Politico.eu writes. Since the idea of ​​a first-list candidate system was adopted in 2014, the president of the European Commission has not been elected for a second term at the end of his term.

“There is some irritation,” another diplomat said of Michael’s plans. A second ambassador said the irritation was within Van der Leyen’s cabinet and among EU leaders.

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