The President of the European Union’s Council, Charles Michel, is making plans to step down before summer this year, to be able to run as a candidate for the European Parliament. In a recent statement, Michel announced his intention to step down early in order to run in the European elections in 2024.
This decision has sparked controversy and criticism from various sources, including Steven Van Hecke, a professor of European politics at the University of Leuven, who accused Michel of prioritizing his personal interests over those of the European institutions. Additionally, Dutch MEP, Sophie in’t Veld, accused Michel of “leaving the ship in the middle of a storm.”
However, Michel has defended his decision, stating that there are measures that can be implemented to avoid Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, from leading the Council if a successor is not found on time. According to EU rules, if the Council president steps down, the leader of the country currently holding the EU presidency would temporarily succeed until the next president is elected by a majority of the EU’s 27 leaders.
Charles Michel has been serving as the President of the European Council since 2019, previously serving as the Prime Minister of Belgium from 2014 to 2019. The leaders of the European Union Member States are scheduled to meet in June following the Parliament elections, which take place in June.
The move by Charles Michel to step down has raised concerns and criticisms, but it also sets the stage for potential changes in EU leadership and future developments within the European institutions.
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