Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Charles Michel re-elected President of the European Council

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, March 29th 2022 à 15:40 | Read 294 times

Charles Michel will hold the post of President of the European Council until 30 November 2024 (photo: European Council)
Charles Michel will hold the post of President of the European Council until 30 November 2024 (photo: European Council)
EU. Charles Michel was reappointed by the Heads of State and Government meeting in Brussels at the end of the day on Thursday 24 March 2022 as President of the European Council. This vote was not a surprise. The forty-six year old former Belgian Prime Minister was the name proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron for the French Presidency of the European Union (FPEU), and no other candidates had come forward.

"I come to congratulate a man who has just been re-elected without opposition. It's something I dream about", Joe Biden laughed, shaking his hand. The American president is in the Belgian capital to discuss with the Europeans, during a G7 summit and another of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organisation), the aggression of Ukraine by Russia.

Appointed in July 2019 to succeed Donald Tusk and taking office on 1 December 2019, Charles Michel, a French-speaking liberal, is one of the European Union's top five figures alongside Germany's Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, Malta's Roberta Metsola, the new president of the European Parliament, Spain's Josep Borrel, the European Union's high representative for foreign affairs, and France's Christine Lagarde, president of the European Central Bank (ECB).

It is an understatement to say that Charles Michel does not get on with Ursula von der Leyen, as the episode in Turkey showed when the President of the European Council sat next to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, forcing the President of the European Commission to settle for a sofa a little further away. Apart from the blatant lack of gallantry of the Turkish president and Charles Michel, this embarrassing and much commented on moment had exposed the problems of precedence between the two EU representatives.

No third mandate possible

One of the achievements of Charles Michel's first term in office was the agreement in July 2020 (after four days and nights of heated discussions) to launch a €750 billion European plan, with the Member States borrowing together for the first time, to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
The European Council is the European Union institution that defines the general political guidelines and priorities of the EU. The post of President was created by the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009. His role is to chair the meetings of the European Council and to lead its work. He also ensures "at his level, the external representation of the EU in matters relating to the common foreign and security policy", states a European Council press release.

This new two-and-a-half year mandate (from 1 June 2022 to 30 November 2024) will be his last, as a third renewal is not permitted under the Lisbon Treaty. His two predecessors, his compatriot Herman Van Rompuy (2010-2014) and the Pole Donald Tusk (2014-2019) were also reappointed for a second term.

Charles Michel was also reappointed to the presidency of the Eurozone Summit for the same period.

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