Back problems force Charles Michel to skip European Parliament debate

European Council president Charles Michel will miss a debate in the European Parliament on Wednesday due to acute back problems. This also means he will not have to face critical questions about a possible early end to his mandate.

"For medical reasons (acute lumbago) and on doctor's orders, the president has to limit his movements," a spokesperson said on Tuesday. "His agenda for the coming days will be rearranged accordingly."

Michel had been due in Strasbourg on Wednesday to brief MEPs on the December European Council summit and look ahead to a special summit on 1 February.

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MR confirms Charles Michel will head European list
Francophone liberal party MR has confirmed that the president of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel, will head the party's European list in the elections on 9 June. Speaking at the party's New Year's reception, Michel said there was a need for "a Europe that respects people and is respected".

At the same time, many MEPs want to question him on his decision to stand in the European elections and, if elected, to take his seat and resign as president of the Council in July.

There has been criticism of this decision among European politicians. Some defend his decision to stand for election, while others are worried because failure to find a successor quickly would mean Viktor Orban leading Council meetings during Hungary's six-month presidency of the EU in the second half of 2024.

German social democrat MEP Jens Geier described Michel's decision as an "ego trip" and said he should resign immediately. However, MEPs have no say in the matter. Michel's fate lies in the hands of European leaders.



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