BRUSSELS: Belgian politician Charles Michel has introduced he’ll step down early as European Council president after he runs within the European Parliament elections set for June.
“I’ve determined to face as a candidate for the European elections in June 2024,” he informed Belgian media.
The shock transfer is more likely to heighten hypothesis about who would be the subsequent European Union leaders as negotiations start for a brand new spherical of high jobs in November, when Michel’s official mandate runs out.
EU Fee President Ursula von der Leyen of Germany, who like Michel was appointed in 2019, has to date stored quiet on whether or not she intends to hunt a second time period.
As Council president, one in all Michel’s major duties has been overseeing EU summits which have grow to be vital to the seek for joint responses to crises together with the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“4 years after beginning my time period as a European chief, it is my duty to present an account of my work these previous years and to suggest a challenge for Europe’s future,” Michel, the 48-year-old former Belgian prime minister, informed Belgian media.
He mentioned he would head the checklist of the liberal Reformist Motion (MR) celebration, of which he’s a former chief, within the European Parliament elections and step down as Council president in July.
“Which means I might proceed my work as European Council president till being sworn in as an MEP on Jul 16,” he mentioned.
A Council assembly is scheduled for simply after the parliament elections, and “at this second it should resolve when my successor will take up the job”, Michel mentioned.
The transfer got here in for sturdy criticism, even from his personal aspect of the fence, because it raises questions over who will take over from Michel.
Underneath EU procedures, the nationwide chief of the nation holding the EU’s rotating presidency, would assume the position till the November election.
That might be Hungarian nationalist Viktor Orban, the one EU chief to take care of shut ties with the Kremlin following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Michel mentioned he thought the usual procedures may very well be “modified by a easy majority” vote.
Dutch MEP Sophie in’t Veld, of the liberal centrist Renew Europe celebration, took to X, previously Twitter, and accused him of abandoning ship.
“The captain leaving the ship in the course of a storm. If that’s how little dedicated you’re to the destiny of the European Union, then how credible are you as a candidate?” she requested.
The parliament elections, that are scheduled to happen between Jun 6 and 9 throughout the 27 EU member nations, are to decide on 720 deputies in complete.
They’re anticipated to immediate fierce horse-trading for the highest jobs within the European establishments, together with the European Fee and European Council.