Would he or wouldn't he? That was the question on Entre Nous's mind after European Voice revealed two weeks ago that Josep Borrell was being forced to step down as president of the European University Institute (EUI).
Borrell's resignation does not take effect until June, so the intriguing question was whether he would still preside over the State of the Union conference that the EUI was hosting yesterday and today (9-10 May) in Fiesole. Borrell's resignation was forced because of allegations of a conflict of interest from his €300,000-a-year directorship of Abengoa, an energy company, and the second day of the conference is devoted to energy policy.
Borrell was scheduled to take part, but his name disappeared from a revised version of the programme. A spokesperson for the EUI told Entre Nous that Borrell was attending the conference but would not speak; instead, participants would be welcomed by Vello Pettai, an Estonian professor who chairs the institute's governing board. The change, the spokesperson said, had nothing to do with the allegations.