Donald Tusk chosen to head European Council for second term
PR dla Zagranicy
Former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk was chosen to head the European Council for a second term during a summit on Thursday, despite opposition from the Polish government.
Donald Tusk has been chosen to head the European Council for a second term. Photo: EPA/JULIEN WARNAND
Tusk was supported by 27 of the 28 members of the European Union. The Polish government was the only member which did not stand behind Tusk.
The governing Law and Justice (PiS) party in Warsaw had said it would “do everything to make sure that vote is not held [on Thursday]”.
PiS had put forward its own candidate, MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, to take on Tusk, who they feel has overstepped his mandate and interfered in domestic Polish politics.
In a tweet following the vote, Tusk wrote: “Grateful for trust & positive assessment by [the European Council]. I will do my best to make the EU better.”
PiS spokeswoman Beata Mazurek said the decision "does not bode well" on the European Union, as precedent was set where the EU "chose a candidate which was not supported by his own country".
The appointment was considered “good news” by former Polish prime minister and member of Tusk’s Civic Platform (PO) party, Ewa Kopacz.
The next term of office of the European Council President runs from 1 June 2017 until 30 November 2019.