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politics

Charles Michel prepares his revenge against Ursula von der Leyen – POLITICO

Behind the scenes, the power war between the two highest officials of the European Union took place around canceled lunches and unofficial declarations strategically broadcast from one side of the Rue de la Loi to the other. The tense dynamic was made clear during a visit to Ankara in 2021, when Michel snagged the only available chair next to the Turkish president, leaving von der Leyen relegated to a nearby couch, in what became known as the name of Sofagate. She then made allegations of sexism to the European Parliament.

Some have suggested that Michel seek the role of EU foreign policy chief, succeeding Josep Borrell, with whom he has a good relationship.. His strategy will be to separate heads of state for one-on-one talks instead of discussing the most important positions with everyone present, which is traditionally how such deals are made, some said. one of the eight diplomats and officials.

To complicate matters further, Michel is presiding over the distribution process for top positions that will take place after the European elections, including the decision by EU leaders. this could see von der Leyen nominated for a second term.

“He’s not a candidate. As the President has mentioned several times, he is and will be fully focused on his work as President of the EUCO and on the unity of the European Council to take substantive decisions,” said Ecaterina Casinge, spokesperson for the President of the European Council.

In recent weeks, some European countries have become increasingly nervous about Michel’s real agenda.

“Many member states fear that Charles Michel is not playing a constructive role, but rather pursuing an agenda of personal vengeance,” said one EU diplomat, capturing the mood of many of his colleagues.

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