The Prime Minister, Charles Michel, and the German Chancellor, had a “warm” and “friendly” meeting in a Brussels restaurant on Thursday evening. They covered a series of topics ranging from European issues to the EU’s relationship with Russia. This was revealed by close aides to the Belgian Head of government.
Mr Michel invited his German counterpart – sometimes billed as “the most powerful woman in the world” – to a meeting in a less formal setting than the Lambermont (his residence) or the Château de Val Duchesse (often used for national and international meetings).
This meeting happened after she had received an honorary doctorate, as planned in the afternoon, from the universities of Leuven (KU Leuven) and Ghent (UGent) during a flying visit to Brussels.
The Chancellor was also taken to visit Brussels Grand Place (the central square) in driving rain, before dining in a restaurant, upon the invitation of Mr Michel.
The meeting was described as “highly enjoyable” by the Prime Minister’s aides. Such aides said it was “full of [in-depth] exchanges” owing to the “to the relationship of trust” between Mrs Merkel, re-elected as Chancellor in September 2013, and Mr Michel, who came to power in October 2014.
Indeed so convivial was their meeting, that the initial timetable was disrupted. Mrs Merkel ended up getting her flight back to Berlin an hour late!