Politico: Michelle to Exclude von der Leyen from Discussion of Top Posts

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European Council President Charles Michel wants to exclude European Commission (EC) President Ursula von der Leyen from the meeting at which EU leaders will discuss key positions in the union’s leadership. Politico reports this, citing sources and European diplomats. The informal summit is scheduled for 17 June. According to the newspaper, Michel is in charge of selecting the participants of the meeting. In talks with EU leaders and their aides, he suggested that Mrs von der Leyen should not be invited to the meeting because she is also the leading candidate of the European People’s Party (EPP) and is looking forward to a second term as EC chief. According to Politico, some officials suspect that Charles Michel is ‘concocting a scheme to get involved in the race to be the next EU foreign policy chief.’ According to one of the interlocutors of the publication, the behavior of the European Council head causes ‘some irritation’. ‘EU member states are increasingly irritated by Charles Michel’s role in the process of selecting (a candidate) for the EC presidency. He seems to be guided solely by personal motives,’ an unnamed European diplomat said. Ursula von der Leyen belongs to the conservative center-right ЕРР, which secured a majority of seats in the 720-seat European Parliament following the election results. The obtained representation of 137 MEPs strengthens the chances of this faction to nominate its candidate for the future head of the European Council. At least two politicians are believed to be in the running for the position - former Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister António Costa and current Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.