Published: Fri, March 10, 2017
Science | By Kerry Wheeler

Donald Tusk re-elected to European Council presidency

Donald Tusk re-elected to European Council presidency

Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Thursday that Poland will do everything it can to block Tusk's re-election.

"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.

"Nothing without us, without our consent", Szydlo said upon arrival for the summit.

The two-day summit starting on 9 March sees the 28 leaders of the European Union, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, discussing pressing issues facing the union, such as the impending Brexit, but the Polish government challenged Tusk's re-election.

Poland appears to have won no support, but the other leaders will still be keen to avoid a public bust-up with the EU's biggest post-communist state just weeks before the bloc enters its seventh decade.

The leaders are also at odds over the contents of a declaration they hope to make on the future at a summit in Rome later this month marking the EU's 60th birthday.

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After being confirmed as president, he tweeted: "Grateful for trust & positive assessment by #EUCO (European Council)".

Kaczynski holds Tusk "morally responsible" for the death of his twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, in a plane crash in Russian Federation in 2010, when Tusk was Poland's prime minister.

Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat chaired the session to decide Mr Tusk's mandate.

Earlier Wednesday, a senior German official said Tusk had "overwhelming support" and was fully expected to be given another term in office.

Poland's nationalist government has proposed little-known Polish EU lawmaker Jacek Saryusz-Wolski to replace Tusk, whose current term ends May 31.

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". "The EU will remain engaged in the Western Balkans and stand by its commitments", Tusk said.

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