EU boss makes election U-turn — RT World News

Charles Michel's change of heart comes days before a meeting between European Union leaders about signing additional aid to Ukraine

European Council President Charles Michel has abandoned his plans to contest a seat in the upcoming European Parliament elections in June. It comes amid suggestions that doing so could have prompted Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, a critic of aid to Ukraine, to replace him as EU Council president.

Michel, the former Prime Minister of Belgium, announced his intention to run for membership in the European Parliament from his home country three weeks ago. Had he been elected, as was widely expected, he would have been forced to leave his EU post before the official end of his term in late November.

This could have led to Orbán taking over by default, had a successor not been quickly appointed, with Hungary assuming the rotating presidency of the EU Council in July. Michel's shift came just six days before an EU summit chaired by Michel to discuss future financing for Ukraine, as Brussels seeks to override Orban's veto of using the bloc's common budget to resupply Kiev.

Michel said in a statement on Friday that his change of heart came afterward 'Extreme reactions' And “Personal attacks” In response to his initial decision to run for election. However, he added that he would do so “I devote all my efforts to my current responsibilities.”

He added: “I do not want this decision to distract us from our mission or undermine this institution and our European project, and I do not want it to be misused in any way to divide the European Council, which I believe must work tirelessly for European unity.” he said in comments posted on social media.

He added: “I will always remain an ardent supporter of a Europe that is democratic, strong, united and in charge of its own destiny.” He said before adding that he would “Reflecting on the nature and direction of my future obligations” Once his term ends later this year.

Michel's intention to obtain a seat in the Brussels Parliament has been described as “scandal” By Andrew Duff of the European Policy Centre. Several other officials also expressed their reservations, with an anonymous EU diplomat telling Politico that Michel's initial decision was… “Deceptive and disrespectful to the role of the European Council.”

A Financial Times report on Friday stated that Michel's decision to withdraw his candidacy for the European Parliament was supported by officials from European Union countries, without specifying the countries concerned.

Orban is expected to once again freeze funds allocated to Ukraine at an EU leaders meeting next Thursday, after previously doing so in December, The Guardian newspaper said on Friday, citing sources familiar with the discussions.

If Budapest continues its objection, it is possible that the other 26 EU member states could trigger Article 7 of the rarely used EU treaty that allows any country to be stripped of its voting rights.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button