EU Council President to step down early, triggering race to replace him

European Council president Charles Michel announced Sunday that he will step down early, setting off a race against time for EU leaders to find a successor for the key position.

The 48-year-old former Belgian prime minister has been organising EU summits and government meetings since 2019 and should leave office in November.

However, he announced that he will be leaving early to run in the June elections for the European Parliament. In the elections, Michel will lead the liberal Reformist Movement.

“Four years after starting my term as a European leader, it’s my responsibility to give an account of my work these past years and to propose a project for Europe’s future,” Michel said.

If European Union leaders cannot find a successor by then, Hungary’s nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, who has had frequent battles with Brussels, could take the job temporarily.

As council president, one of Michel’s main tasks has been overseeing EU summits that have decided the bloc’s responses to crises including Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Orban has maintained close ties to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin since the war started.

Hungary is due to take over the rotating presidency of the 27-member group from July 1. In that role, it organises EU ministerial meetings.

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Sydney Okafor

I am so passionate about this my profession as a broadcast journalist and voiceover artists and presently a reporter at TV360 Nigeria

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