Tusk to run for the European Union presidency despite Polish opposition?

Camille Francis
March 10, 2017

Key Eurocrat Donald Tusk has vowed to "make the European Union better" after he was confirmed for a second term as its Council president.

Tusk, who was once Polish prime minister and who comes from the party Civic Platform, which is the opposition to the ruling Law and Justice Party, was staunchly opposed by Warsaw.

"The European Council today reelected Donald Tusk as its president for a second term of two-and-a-half years, from June 1, 2017 to November 30, 2019", the Council later confirmed in a statement, adding that Tusk was also reappointed as president of the Euro Summit for the same period.

"Migration, Brexit and today show that things are not going in the right direction, and we cherish the European Union too much to let it fall apart", she said, adding that her Europe was a "united Europe, respectful of its members, dealing with matters important to European Union citizens".

The attack on Tusk, made in a letter to governments of the 28-member bloc, came a day ahead of a Brussels summit where leaders were expected to rubberstamp a new two-year mandate for the former Polish premier.

The leaders also face rifts over Britain's exit as they meet without Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday to draw up plans to mark the EU's 60th birthday in Rome later this month.

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Poland tried to argue that the decision should be delayed, and reportedly hoped that Hungary, its illiberal brother-in-arms, and the United Kingdom, which will need support in impending Brexit negotiations, would join it in voting against Tusk.

His institutional account instead showed a post written in English: "Grateful for trust and positive assessment by European Council".

The summit will give leaders a first chance to debate the European Commission's Future of Europe White Paper, unveiled last week by its president Jean-Claude Juncker.

Poland's nationalist government, which has often been at odds with Brussels and EU partners, has proposed little-known Polish EU lawmaker Jacek Saryusz-Wolski to replace Tusk.

What does the European Council president do? Poland was the only country which did not back Tusk.

"The item is on the agenda, so I think that usually when an item is on the agenda one has to decide on that item", Muscat said.

Other reports by My Hot News

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