Ursula von der Leyen met en garde Charles Michel

During a meeting in Ankara, von der Leyen had been placed back on a couch, while Michel and Erdogan had taken their places in the only two chairs available. The president of the European Commission “will not allow such a situation to happen again”, she warned.

The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen received the President of the European Council Charles Michel on Monday 12 April for the first time since the protocol incident of “Pause“In Ankara and warned him that she”will not allow such a situation to happen again». «Presidents von der Leyen and Michel held their usual weekly meeting and discussed a range of topical issues», Explained the spokesperson for the European Commission after the meeting.

The interview took place at the Berlaymont, headquarters of the European Commission and lasted nearly two hours. Ursula von der Leyen “has made it clear that she will never allow such a situation to happen again“, Specified a source to the Commission. The controversy over the precedence given to Charles Michel during their meeting on Tuesday April 6 in Ankara with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was seen as an affront by Ursula von der Leyen.

Set back on a couch

The President of the Commission had been placed back on a couch, while Charles Michel and Recep Tayyip Erdogan took their places in the only two armchairs available. The services of the Council ensure that Charles Michel has precedence for the international protocol. The Commission disputes this reading and calls for the same protocol rank for the two leaders.

Ursula von der Leyen asked her services to contact their counterparts in the Council to “find a ‘modus vivendi’ in order to avoid such situations in the future“, Explained earlier in the day his spokesperson Eric Mamer. A memorandum which sets out in five points the requests of the President of the Commission on the basis of “the interpretation of the rules in force“, Was sent by email to Charles Michel’s employees, he said.

The text is analyzed as “a series of conditions“Imposed by the Commission with the will”weaken the European Council“, Told AFP a representative of the Council, the body representing the 27 member states. “The Commission takes advantage of the incident to call into question the treaties, in particular Article 15Which details the responsibilities of each, he maintains. The European executive denied having such an intention: “We do not claim anything more than what is in the treatiesSaid Eric Mamer. «For Mrs von der Leyen it is absolutely not a question of wanting to speak in place of the President of the Council on questions of common foreign and security policy», He underlined.

Pinned down by many European elected officials for his silence in Ankara, Charles Michel defended himself from any sexism, assuring in an interview to several European media that he had not reacted to avoid “a much more serious (diplomatic) incidentWith Ankara. “I won’t hide from you that I haven’t slept well at night since», He confided. It was the first time on Monday that the two leaders had spoken to each other since the incident, despite previous attempts by Charles Michel to contact Ms von der Leyen.

«After Ankara, the president went to Jordan, then she went to Germany for the first time since Christmas to reunite with her family, and during this stay, she privileged her family relations.», Explained the spokesperson for the Commission. The presidents of the two institutions will be heard on Tuesday at the end of the day by the heads of the political groups in the European Parliament, where a debate on “PauseWas claimed.


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