Grain de sel VDB :
dans un contexte particulièrement brûlant lié entre autres à la guerre en Ukraine sur lequel il est particulièrement engagé , Charles Michel décide, sans doute à regret, de renoncer à se présenter sur les sites européennes en Belgique où il était assuré d’avoir un mandat de député. Nul ne sait ce qu’ont été les arguments ou pressions entre chefs d’Etat , nul ne sait ce que sa conscience lui a dicté.
Il n’y a qu’une chose à faire: se réjouir car il évite ainsi un chaos prévisible sur les mandats importants à rejouer après les européennes : nomination de la présidence du puis de la Commission et constitue un élément de relative stabilité jusqu’en fin d’année alors même que c’est la Hongrie qui est censée reprendre le flambeau de la présidence tournante en juillet , même si à date chacun tente une solution juridico politique pour l’éviter ce qui serait un précédent dans l’histoire de l’UE et un scenario improbable.
“I don’t want this decision [to run for parliament] to distract us from our mission or undermine this institution and our European project, nor be misused in any way to divide the European Council, which I believe must work tirelessly for European unity,” Michel wrote in a statement on his Facebook page.
“I will not be a candidate in the European elections” in June, Michel said in the statement, adding that he would now see through the rest of his European Council mandate that ends in November.
“Personal attacks are increasingly taking precedence over factual arguments – I believe this distorts objective democratic discourse,” Michel wrote.
“This [decision] has also led to extreme reactions – not within the European Council but outside it – to the prospect of running in the European elections, shortening my term and advancing my successor’s mandate by a few months,” Michel wrote.
His U-turn, Michel said was due to “extreme reactions” and “personal attacks”.
“On a personal level, it brings me to reflect on the meaning and impact of my electoral commitment to which I have dedicated 30 years of my life, not only for me but also for those close to me,” he added.
Michel’s withdrawal comes 20 days after his announcement he would run top of his Belgian centre-right Reformist Movement (MR) party list, of which he is a former leader, in the European Parliament elections between 6 and 9 June.
Michel faced the risk of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán being lined up to take the helm of the European Council as interim
His election would have forced him to resign before the end of his European Council mandate, scheduled for 30 November, which would have been at the latest during his swearing-in before the new European Parliament, during the plenary in mid-July.
The decision to run as an MEP candidate in Belgium, where he was almost certain to win a seat, was criticised by some politicians as neglect of his duty to the bloc’s leaders.
As Euractiv reported then, his previous surprise announcement was likely to force the pro-European forces’ to speed up negotiations over the EU’s top jobs following the elections in June.
This would have also come due to the risk of Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán being lined up to take the helm of the European Council as interim, with his country holding the six-monthly EU presidency, if the EU27 would have failed to agree on a successor before Michel’s resignation.
[Edited by Nathalie Weatherald]