The scene has not finished talking about her. On Tuesday, the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, was filmed as she entered the hall of the Turkish Presidential Palace in search of a seat to sit down. After an insistent “Ehm”, she finally had to sit on the sofa opposite the Turkish Foreign Minister and let her male counterpart, European Council President Charles Michels, take a front row seat with President Erdogan.
The reactions were not long in coming in Brussels since the two presidents of the institutions have the same protocol rank. The European Council has, however, made it known that its President takes precedence over the Commission for International Protocol.
Make sure it doesn’t happen again
“President von der Leyen was surprised. She decided to go ahead and prioritize the substance. But that does not imply that she does not attach importance to the incident, explained her on Wednesday. spokesperson Eric Mamer. Mrs von der Leyen is waiting to be treated according to the rules of protocol and she has asked her services to ensure that these kinds of incidents do not repeat themselves in the future. “
A rebuff that did not prevent diplomatic discussions from being held. “Despite the protocol incident, discussions were very extensive with the Turkish president and Ms. von der Leyen was able to exercise her role,” continued the spokesperson.
The withdrawal of the Istanbul Convention in the sights
At the end of the meeting, Mrs von der Leyen did not mince words during the press conference. “I am deeply concerned that Turkey has withdrawn from the Istanbul Convention,” she said, particularly affected by the incident on Tuesday.
“First they are withdrawing from the Istanbul Convention and now they are leaving the President of the European Commission without a seat on an official visit. It is shameful. #WomensRights”, protested the president of the group. socialist in the European Parliament, the Spaniard Iratxe Garcia Perez, in a message on her Twitter account.