“Despite the unfortunate end of Costa’s last government, he still has a chance of being appointed not only as interim president, but also as the new president for the next two and a half years”, stated the professor of European Law and specialist in community affairs, Alberto Alemanno.

Days after the current president of the European Council, Charles Michel, announced that he would leave office early to head the list of the French-speaking liberal party MR for the European elections in June, with the goal to occupy a European post (such as MEP or another) in the next institutional cycle, Alberto Alemanno stressed having António Costa as successor “will depend a lot on the outcome of the judicial process”.

The Portuguese prime minister “remains credible in the EU and one of the stars of the S&D party (Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats)”.

A similar opinion was expressed by European affairs consultant Henrique Burnay, who told Lusa “António Costa is a possibility for three reasons”.

“He is a socialist and the socialists have yet to occupy the position, he is prime minister like those who will have to make the decision, and he is one of the deans of the Council”, he listed.

However, the resigning head of Government also “has three points against him”, including the fact that “Michel’s dismissal could accelerate the process and this would not benefit him, due to the “timing” of the Influencer operation in Portugal, it is uncertain even if the result turns out to be favourable”, according to this expert.

Furthermore, “the Danish Prime Minister, Mette Frederiksen, could be an equally or even stronger socialist name” and “the next Portuguese government may or may not be committed to this solution”, he added.

“There are so many uncertainties, but the possibility of António Costa as a candidate cannot be excluded”, Henrique Burnay told Lusa.

In addition to the names António Costa and Mette Frederiksen, there are others such as Italian prime ministers Draghi and Enrico Draghi, and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte.

With Charles Michel’s decision, there are concerns regarding Viktor Orbán, who has been blocking advances in European dossiers related to the community budget, support for Ukraine and migration, temporarily taking over leadership of the European Council.

Charles Michel, explained to journalists in Brussels, to prevent the European Union from being temporarily led by Viktor Orbán, it is necessary to “guarantee a decision by June”, which will allow us to “anticipate the possibility of the successor taking office” as early as July.

Alberto Alemanno hopes “that an interim president will be found between Michael’s departure and the next EU political cycle in November”.

The professor of European Law considers Michel’s decision “not only unprecedented but also has consequences for the EU”, given “the risk of creating a constitutional crisis”, since the Belgian politician “abruptly ended his mandate when it is most needed”.

“Following this decision, Michel will become a failed president with little authority and will force EU leaders to hastily select a replacement, regardless of the result of the European elections”, he pointed out.

Alemanno commented that Charles Michel “clearly failed to leave a mark on EU politics”, the reason for this “egocentric and irresponsible” decision, which “can only be justified by his own interests.

Henrique Burnay considered the decision made because Michael “realised that he didn’t as many international positions where he wanted”, a leader who “did not leave a great impression and won’t be missed”, furthermore, a politician “without the support of the Member states”.

The next president of the European council is foreseen to be selected this summer, in June, along with other appointments to top positions within the scope of the next European Institutional cycle.

However, Charles Michel’s mandate would only end on November 30, with an announcement in which the politician would be leaving office earlier, on July 16, following the MEP elections.

The European elections will take place between June 6 and June 9, only then will the European Council meet to designate a successor.