Belgium ready to chair EU instead of UK
Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders said on Saturday, July 16, that Belgium was prepared, if necessary, to assume the EU presidency, according to Belga news agency, The Brussels Times reported.
The United Kingdom was supposed to assume the presidency in the second half of 2017 but the Leave vote makes this unlikely, according to The BrusselsTimes.
The idea was put forward for the first time at the recent NATO summit in Warsaw. "My Estonian colleague asked me if it was true that we were planning to take over the presidency of the United Kingdom," Didier Reynders said. “The scenario had obviously been mentioned, among others, within the European institutions.”
Making #UkrCEnter happenAfter consultation with the Belgian government, the foreign minister had the opportunity to discuss the issue with his European colleagues and the leaders of the European institutions on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) last week in Ulan Bator in Mongolia.
The European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker would look favorably at a Belgian "Not patriots": EU's Juncker mocks resigning Brexiteers - Reuters presidency, because Belgium has experience in organizing such an event.