BRUSSELS: European Council President Charles Michel is to stand for election to the European Parliament in June, reported German News Agency, quoting Belgian media on Sunday.
Michel’s decision means that he would step down as head of the EU body that brings together the bloc’s heads of state and government should he be elected. EU leaders could then discuss a replacement for him at the end of June or beginning of August, he told Le Soir and De Standaard.
“It is relatively easy to arrange the succession,“ the former Belgian prime minister was reported as saying.
Michel told the newspapers he would campaign at the head of the list of the liberal Belgian Reformist Movement (MR) party in the June 9 elections. He described 2024 as an extremely important election year in Europe, and in the wider world.
“The European project is at a crossroads, and there is a need to boost the legitimacy of European democracy,“ he said. Michel said he aimed to play an active role. “I would like to be part of the team of those building the European project and am putting myself forward to continue to serve it.”
Michel said he intended to campaign in a way that would not impact his responsibilities in coordinating EU summits.
The 48-year-old took up the post in December 2019 and will continue in it until members of the European Parliament are sworn in on July 16, and then step down, if elected.
His role has been largely overshadowed by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who took office at the same time. – Bernama, dpa