The president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, currently recovering from emergency surgery, will not be able to take part in the G7 meeting in Biarritz on 24-25 August, the Commission announced on Monday.
Juncker had his gallbladder removed and, according to a Commission spokesperson, the surgery went well and he “currently remains in hospital in recovery”.
“His doctors have specified that he should not travel at this time,” the spokesperson said, adding that he “will not be able to attend this weekend’s G7 meeting.”
The 64-year old Luxembourger had been on holiday in Austria when he had to rush back to Luxembourg for the surgery, which was announced on Saturday by the Commission. He will be in contact with French President Emmanuel Macron, the host of the meeting, and European Council President Donald Tusk to organise the European Union’s representation.
Heads of State and Government are not replaced at this type of meeting and there have already been cases where the EU was represented at a G7 summit solely by the president of the Council or the Commission’s president.
The weekend meeting would have been Mr. Juncker’s first opportunity to meet new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
In recent interviews, Juncker has described his term of office as a heavy one punctuated by many crises, such as the Greek debt problem, the migration issue and the British decision to pull out of the EU.
He has also been affected by severe back problems, which sometimes prevented him from moving around normally.
Juncker will be succeeded on 1 November by Germany’s Ursula von der Leyen.