The puzzle “after Michel” in the Council of the EU


AGI – The candidacy of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, in the European elections, with the subsequent early departure from his current position, has been postponed by several months maneuvers to fill vacancies at the head of the EU institutions. Further support is provided by the hypothesis that – in the event that an agreement on Michel’s replacement cannot be reached in time by July 16, the day the new MEPs are sworn in in Strasbourg – the rotating president of the EU Council, i.e. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, the face and soul of anti-Brussels European sovereignty. Elections to the European Chamber will be held between June 6 and 9.

French-speaking liberals from the Reform Movement (MR), whose ticket Michel will lead, should win two to three seats, according to polls. The nomination of the former Belgian prime minister is almost a given: as a result, he would leave the presidency of the European Council four months earlier than expectedin July instead of November. Unlike the European Commissioners, his current position is not incompatible with participation in the election campaign.

Although Michel’s decision is legitimate, it further changes the calendars for the election of the next European Union leadership in about five weeks: between the day after the election, June 10, and the constituent plenary session of the legislature, July 15. At least two leaders’ summits are already planned for this period: the first on June 17 and the second on June 27 and 28. And in the absence of an agreement, an extraordinary one could be called.

In general, the roles are “divided” based on the outcome of the election and respecting the different composition of majorities and nationalities. The Commission presidency is currently in the hands of the European People’s Party with Ursula von der Leyen (who has not yet expressed a desire to run for a second term).

The presidency of the parliament is also in the hands of the EPP with a Maltese Roberta Metsola, who will certainly not disdain a second mandate (especially now that his name no longer appears among the possible candidates of the populists for the president of the European executive). The Socialists won the role of High Representative of the EU for foreign policy, given to the former Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell (former President of the EP) and the Liberals were the President of the European Council Charles Michel.

Before we get to the core of the new formations, it will be absolutely necessary to wait for the results of the surveys in the twenty-seventh. Unless you decide on a professional name for the Presidency of the European Council and the first thing that comes to mind is former Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi (and also former head of the ECB).

Alexander De Croo, the Belgian prime minister and rotating EU president, specifies that “it is time” to carry out all the assessments. And from Hungary they confirm that it is not time to give room for speculation. However, it is undeniable that the machine for building the future of European leadership is already in motion.

Reproduction is expressly reserved © Agi 2023


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