Mr Michel to succeed Donald Tusk?

European leaders are in Brussels to strike a deal and come up with a political carve-up for the bloc’s top jobs.  The name of the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel has surfaced in connection with the influential post of European Council president. The council is the gathering of EU leaders.

Mr Michel (Francophone liberal) currently heads Belgium’s caretaker administration, but could be out of a job relatively soon.  News outlet Politico reported that Donald Tusk put Mr Michel’s name as a potential successor to EU leaders over the weekend, while on Monday there were suggestions he could become the EU's new foreign policy chief.

So far European liberal parties have been pulling out the stops to get Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager appointed as the new commission president but the Netherlands’ Frans Timmermans, a socialist, is getting more support. If Mr Timmermans gets the top job, this could be bad news for Mr Michel as the leaders are unlikely to grant two key posts to Benelux politicians.  Still Luxembourg PM Xavier Bettel told reporters that Mr Michel meets all conditions whether it be at the Belgian or the European level.

European leaders need to find a new commission president, new European council president, a new foreign policy chief and central banker, while the European Parliament too is getting a new president. Nationality, but more importantly the strength of the various European parliamentary groups will be key in the leaders’ decision and a balance will have to be struck.