Germany urges European Union to rally behind Poland's Tusk for top job

Melba UnderwoodMar 10, 2017

"European Council President Donald Tusk was confirmed for a second mandate Thursday despite opposition from his native Poland, Luxembourg Premier Xavier Bettel tweeted, saying: "Habemus presidentum" of the European Council, good luck Donald!".

The election of the European Council President for the next term is expected to be one of the key decisions taken at this week's EU summit in Brussels.

Tusk had urged the Law and Justice government to respect the rule of law when visiting the closing ceremony of Wroclaw's year as Europe's capital of culture last December.

So, too, is the role Poland will play in Brexit negotiations now that UK Prime Minister Theresa May threw her support behind Tusk. "It helped! ❤" just after the vote was held.

The newly re-elected Tusk said he was "grateful for the trust the European Council has placed in me, but now is not the time for self-congratulations. I will do my best to make the European Union better", Tusk wrote in a tweet.

Tusk ruled Poland between 2007 and 2014 in the centre-right Civic Platform party. Anti-German propaganda from Warsaw can not hide the fact that even within the Visegrad Group of European Union member states Poland has not been able to convince its partners.

In 2012, Jaroslaw Kaczynski told Mr Tusk in parliament: "In the political sense you bear 100% responsibility for the catastrophe in Smolensk".

The incumbent is former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk whose 30-month term is due to end on May 31. "The conclusion from Brexit should not be "we need more multi-speed Europe", a European diplomat said on condition of anonymity. "This is a matter of principles". "We can not hide this, this country is Germany", Kaczynski told reporters in Warsaw.

But instead, the two-day summit starting Thursday risks being consumed by splits along old east-west lines as the eurosceptic Polish government proposes a rival candidate, with support from Hungary.

He said: "One country can not block the decision".

German chancellor Angela Merkel said that 27 countries thought they had worked very well with Tusk and they wished to continue the relations. "I don't see how one country could oppose this solution when all the others are in favour", said Hollande as he arrived for the summit, quoted in the Associated Press.

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