The President of the European Council, Charles Michel, has announced that he will stand for election to the European Parliament in June and step down from his current post. “I have decided to stand as a candidate for the European elections in 2024,” said the former Belgian prime minister in an interview with the dailies ‘De Standaard’, ‘Le Soir’ and ‘La Libre’.
“If elected, I would be sworn in around mid-July. Until then I will carry out my work as President of the European Council,” he said, adding that Michel will campaign as head of the list of the liberal Belgian Reform Movement (MR). “The European project is at a crossroads and the legitimacy of European democracy needs to be boosted,” he said.
“It is a change of plans, but there is enough time to find a replacement before June,” say EU sources, who fear that Viktor Orbán will play a leading role as Hungary takes over the rotating presidency of the EU Council in July.
Hungarian Prime Minister Balázs Orbán’s political director recently said that the European elections “will be an eye-opener for Brussels”. “The Brussels elite has long turned a blind eye to the real, everyday problems of Europeans,” he said.