After a seating arrangement mistake Charles Michel said he “hasn’t slept very well”.
European Council President in embarrassing seating gaffe. The incident occurred this week at a meeting in Ankara. The European Council President took the only chair left available which placed him next to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. However when the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, entered the room she looked confused and raised her hand.
She had to sit on a settee further away and next to the Turkish Foreign Minister who is lower in order than her. Mr Michel said in an interview with a German newspaper “I make no secret of the fact that I haven’t slept well at night since because the scenes keep replaying in my head.” He added that it was a “disastrous situation” and said if he could go back and change it he would.
He added “I deeply regret this situation. I can tell you that I have rewound the scene in my head… I would like so much to rewind, to go back. If I could do it, I would make sure that there is no ambiguity whatsoever.” The embarrassing incident was not mentioned in a news conference afterwards by Ms Von der Leyer.
In a statement an EU spokesperson said “We will be making the appropriate contacts to ensure this doesn’t happen again in future.”