The President of the European Commission Ursula von der Lehn and the President of the European Council Charles Michel met for the first time today at last week’s Angola Accord event (the so-called sofa door).
Von Delane and Michel hold regular meetings once a week. Due to an incident in Ankara last Tuesday, today’s meeting attracted special attention.
Recall that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan received von der Lein and Michel. At the meeting, Michel was appointed as the chair next to Erdogan, and von der Ryan had to sit on the sofa next to him. Michelle didn’t respond at all. The incident was called “Sofagate” by the media.
The spokesperson of the European Commission said that this is a regular weekly meeting between the president of the Commission and the president of the European Council to discuss a series of current issues.
According to committee sources, von Delane said she would not allow similar situations to happen again. According to the agreement, there are differences between the two institutions as to who represents the European Union abroad. In the European Council, they claimed that Michel had an advantage in the agreement as president. The European Commission did not agree with this and said that they should receive the same treatment.
According to the photos of the previous EU-Turkey summit, it is obvious that, for example, the then European Commission and European Council presidents Jean-Claude Juncker and Donald Tusk were treated completely equally. However, former European Commission President Juncker claimed that under the protocol, the President of the European Council has an advantage, and that he used to happen to be in trouble.
Many people expressed indignation at Michel’s failure to respond immediately, and returned his position to Von der Leyen. In recent days, he expressed in the media that he was sorry for what happened, but he did not want to react so as not to cause a bigger incident.
Michelle said: “Since then, my sleep has been poor, these scenes have been revolving in my mind.” He added that if he can turn back time, he will solve the problem. As a result of this incident, the content and purpose of visiting Ankara completely fell into the background.