Politico: Conflict in EU Leadership

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The current head of the European Council, Charles Michel, is trying to prevent Ursula von der Leyen from taking over the presidency of the European Commission (EC) again after the European Parliament elections. Politico reports this. ‘It drives everyone crazy because his game is so obvious - to make Ursula von der Leyen stumble. At the same time, he dreams of taking another high post,’ an EU official said on condition of anonymity, noting that relations between the two top EU leaders have long been very tense. According to Politico’s sources, there are rumors on the sidelines that Michel appears to be a contender for the post of EU high representative for foreign and security policy now held by Josep Borrell. The newspaper’s interlocutors fear that Michel, in an attempt to rule out the reappointment of Ursula von der Leyen as head of the EC, will resort to a strategy of talking to EU leaders face-to-face, instead of discussing candidates for top EU posts together, as is usually the case.