On Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and European Council President Charles Michel visited Ankara. There were two upholstered chairs in the conference room, not three. Michel and Recep Tayyip Erdogan sat on chairs. Ursula von der Leyen has been transferred to a sofa, a short distance away.
On social media, a #sofagate was born, with Charles Michel receiving stinging criticism for not standing on his side and treating von der Leyen equally.
Manfred Weber, the leader of the large Christian Democratic group in the European Parliament, wrote on Twitter that the meeting in Turkey would have demonstrated the determination and unity of the European Union and, indeed, a division. His party group is one of several demanding that Charles Michel come to Parliament to explain his position.
Liberal Sophie In Field posed written questions to the European Commission asking about the legal basis on which it was decided that there was a hierarchical difference between the European Commission and the European Council.
Really few chairs The deterioration of diplomatic relations between Italy and Turkey, a member state of the European Union.
When Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi was asked about #sofagate at a press conference, he said that Erdogan’s treatment of Ursula von der Leyen was unacceptable.
With these, let us call them what they are – dictators – with whom we must, after all, coordinate with them, we must be honest when expressing other views and opinions, Draghi said.
Calling Erdogan a dictator disturbing the government in Ankara, it has summoned the Italian ambassador to reprimand him.
Form på Ursula von der LeyenShe, who suddenly throws her hand and clears her throat when she realizes that her chair is too small, learns to stalk Charles Michel for a long time. The European Council memo after the meeting, which was sent to DN, states that the European Union was not allowed to inspect furniture before the meeting started because the room “was considered too close to Erdogan’s office”.
The memo also states that the so-called protocol service of the European Commission did not attend a preparatory meeting (the Commission referred to the pandemic). Therefore, the protocol service of the European Council only had to take care of the preparations. But she also notes that diplomatic protocol appears to have been followed at the meeting.
In an interview with a Belgian LN24 admits to Charles Michel that he should have acted differently.
I deeply regret this situation. He says and continues:
– I would really like to rewind and come back. If I could do it, I would make sure there was no ambiguity at all, says Michel.