Discussing the crisis with Charles Michel – Von der Leyen will never allow “Sofagate” again

In an interview with Council President Charles Michel, the Chairperson of the European Union Commission made it clear that she would not allow a situation like the one in Ankara to happen again.

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Council of the European Union Charles Michel, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a meeting in Ankara. (April 6, 2021)

Photo: European Union via Keystone

Ursula von der Leyen does not want to accept treatment like the one at the meeting of the European Union and Turkey last week. The President of the European Union Commission made it clear in a conversation with the President of the European Union Council Charles Michel that she would never allow such a situation again, as was said Monday evening in Brussels from the departments of the European Union Commission.

At a meeting last Tuesday, Michel was allocated a large chair alongside Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Von der Leyen, on the other hand, is set aside on a sofa. In the European Union Commission, but also in parts of the public, this seating arrangement was seen as insulting. Michel was criticized for not doing anything about it.

The Belgian then stated that Turkey’s narrow interpretation of the protocol rules had resulted in different treatment. He and von der Leyen immediately decided not to aggravate matters with a public scandal. Meanwhile, the accident is also known to the public under the name “Sofagate”.

With Michel has mentioned this by referring to the rules of protocolThe President of the European Union Commission is below the President of the Council of the European Union in the current protocol-based arrangement. It also means, for example, that Michelle usually has the word first at joint press conferences. However, the committee insists that von der Leyen should have been placed on an equal footing with the other chairs at the meeting in Ankara.

According to the European Union Commission, the meeting between Michel and von der Leyen took place on Monday afternoon. Both politicians are said to be attending a meeting of the president of the European Parliament and leaders of political groups this Tuesday.


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