“… Go get me a black coffee with sugar…”

The European Union once again displayed its internal divisions during the visit of Charles Michel, head of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, head of the European Commission, in Ankara on 6 April. While the meeting was supposed to repair EU-Turkey relations that have been strained for years, the reactions about this meeting all focused on the European Commission president who was visibly annoyed to have been assigned to sit on a sofa facing the Turkish Foreign Minister, while Charles Michel was given the place of honour to sit next to Recep Tayyp Edrogan, the Turkish president.

Was this a strategy to humiliate his hosts? Was this an expression of Islamic-conservative machismo? The reason could be simpler than that: the gaffe could be a result of an internal mess within the European institutions and the lack of coordination between the council’s protocol and that of the Commission.

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