Bloomberg: Klaus Iohannis to have a hard time getting the head of the European Council

The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, is hoping to become the next President of the European Council, according to political sources, competing for the post that will likely be vacated early due to Charles Michel’s unexpected announcement that he will run for a seat in the parliament, Bloomberg reports. Journalists of the publication say, however, that it will be difficult for Iohannis to get this position.

Klaus Iohannis joins a short list of former EU leaders, including Mario Draghi, the former prime minister of Italy, and Xavier Bettel, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, whose names have been floated as possible candidates for the job, which is one of the most important in European union.

The President of the Council presides over meetings of the 27 EU leaders and represents the EU bloc in foreign policy matters. Michel’s announcement threw the EU’s top-ranking process – a complicated system that takes into account the nationality and political affiliation of candidates – into chaos, kicking off the inevitable negotiations months ahead of schedule. Typically, negotiations begin after the European elections, after which the positions of President of the European Commission, President of the Council and others are selected.

Iohannis’ second term as president ends at the end of the year and he cannot run again. He would face an uphill battle for the job if Commission President Ursula von der Leyen were to win a second term, as both are members of the centre-right European People’s Party. A spokesman for Iohannis’ office declined to comment on the president’s plans, Bloomberg says.

The European elections take place between June 6 and 9, which adds another complication to the reshuffle schedule.

In a discussion with journalists accredited at the Government, Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu said  that “Romania has a serious chance to occupy an important position at the European level”. Ciolacu was asked about the scenario in which President Klaus Iohannis could be the future president of the European Council.

“Romania has a serious chance to occupy an important position at the European level. It’s a real corridor and it’s a chance, not only for President Klaus Iohannis, but for Romania,” said Ciolacu. He also said that he frequently talks with the president, including this topic.

Charles MicheldifficultEUEuropean Councilheadklaus iohannispresidencypresident of Romania
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