To carry out its investigation, Politico collected testimonies from dozens of diplomats, European Council officials and representatives of national governments.
It appears that Charles Michel would be more and more isolated and criticized by his peers. It appears in particular that the President of the European Council does not concentrate enough on his functions of preparer and organizer during the summits, which are nevertheless essential.
He would be criticized for preferring trips abroad and for already eyeing a new position by pulling the blanket on him. His mandate is indeed coming to an end at the end of the year and he tells himself that he would see himself in a new role in the European Parliament, which would explain his tendency to want to show himself internationally. However, the EU already has a head of foreign affairs: Josep Borrell. The attitude of Charles Michel would therefore be unwelcome for certain high-ranking people.
At the head of the European Council, our former Prime Minister would also maintain icy relations with the leaders of the 27 and Ursula von der Leyen would also not hold him in high esteem, says Politico.
Politico reports that Charles Michel did not wish to react.
“An unusual fabric of gratuitous and unfounded accusations”
Contacted by La Libre, a spokesperson for Charles Michel reports that “Politico’s article is an unusual web of gratuitous and unfounded accusations, rumors and even lies. The most revealing of which, when Politico claims that Charles Michel would have ‘declined all comment’: he received the two authors of the article for more than an hour…”
And to add: “Contrary to what Politico asserts, the meetings of the European Council have never been so intensively prepared by its president: evidenced by the thirty summits in times of crisis – Covid then war in Ukraine – which all resulted in decisions major events, taken in total unity and solidarity of the 27“.
As for the trips abroad of the President of the European Council, Charles Michel’s spokesperson specifies that they “correspond to the mission conferred on him by the European treaties: to represent and defend European interests abroad. This is in particular what the 27 expect of Charles Michel in the troubled geopolitical period that the world and the EU are currently going through No facts, no identified testimonies support Politico’s criticisms…”