European Union leaders meeting in Brussels

Mar 10, 2017, 00:40
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels

Tusk, a centrist, won his second 30-month term as president of the European Council of EU leaders on Thursday with the backing of all EU member states but Poland.

Poland's spat over who should lead the European Council is set to overshadow a meeting of EU leaders this week that was meant to forge unity in the bloc when Britain quits.

Tusk, a former prime minister, tweeted his thanks for the support.

No, it's a definite no. Writing to her European counterparts on March 8, conservative Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo repeated her firm opposition to the possible re-election of her countryman and liberal predecessor, Donald Tusk, as head of the European Council.

"I hear very often that central European countries benefit from the EU budget and because of this should be obedient", the Polish premier said.

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But other leaders insist there is little appetite for a delay.

"The pronounced support of such actions (the stand-off) on behalf of an EC president was unheard of", Szydlo said in her letter.

"Grateful for trust and positive assessment #EUCO (European Council)".

"We have discussed it also today and the seven Liberal Democrat prime ministers support Tusk", as the work done by him was appreciated on the table of discussion.

Szydlo noted the broad support that Tusk enjoys from European Union leaders, writing that, "The pronounced support of such actions (the stand-off) on behalf of an EC president was unheard of".

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Tusk ruled Poland between 2007 and 2014 in the centre-right Civic Platform party.

Mr Tusk, whose initial two-and-a-half-year term in office expires at the end of May, would be expected to play a key role in the Brexit negotiations and he believes he has the support of many European Union leaders to continue.

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. "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.

You can't say Poland didn't try.

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