The European elections will be held in June. How would you like to participate in the debate on the future of the European Union?
The question, which I’m not going to pretend I don’t understand, if the answer is whether I want to run for office, it’s premature, and we’ll see when the time comes. At this time, I am fully focused on my work.
Charles Michael: “Avoiding a regional conflict between Israel and Hamas is a priority”
Are you afraid of a peak during the 2024 Belgian and European elections?
We must not fear extremes. We must be sure that common sense, which is also a sense of nuance, will prevail. Whether in Belgium or across Europe, we need political leaders who tell the truth, explain what the situation is and present options. We don’t all agree on what needs to be done to create more jobs, what needs to be done to guarantee more security, what needs to be done for ourselves, for our children, to reform the system, to reform the school system. That is democracy.
But it is certain that we are in a time where social media, propaganda, misinformation, so-called information attacks are making life very difficult for honest democrats. They face political opponents who do not hesitate to use the advantages of democracy to weaken the system. Our responsibility, whether we are on the left or the right, when we believe in these values of democracy, it is very certain that all these values are linked to the European project.
Social networks, propaganda, misinformation, information attacks make life very difficult for honest democrats
As President of the Council of Europe, you have shown great interest in international relations, foreign policy and diplomacy. Can you imagine returning to Belgian political life when you hold a position like yours?
There is a huge overlap between the future of Belgium and other member states, the EU and the future of Europe. Those who want to oppose the national interest to the European interest are wrong. The Union needs strong, stable, prosperous and stable member states. And member states need a strong, prosperous and stable EU.
You are only 47 years old. You are president of the European Council until the end of this year. You were prime minister, party leader and Belgian minister. Where do you see yourself in five years?
I cannot answer this question, which does not bother me much, because my entire political career has been made up of unexpected events.
Charles Michel: “We have no right to be weary of the conflict in Ukraine. Ukrainians are fighting for our values and our security.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”