Saturday

19th Aug 2017

Tusk has 'overwhelming majority' among EU leaders

  • Szydlo said Tusk's support for Polish opposition was unconstitutional (Photo: consilium.europa.eu)

EU leaders are expected to keep EU Council president Donald Tusk in place for another two and a half more years despite fierce opposition from his native Poland.

In the latest twist in the Tusk sideshow, Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo accused Tusk of trying to overthrow her government in a letter to fellow EU leaders.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

She claimed Tusk had showed “clear support” for the Polish opposition's attempt to block the work of the Polish parliament.

“Under the Polish constitutional circumstances, the attempt to block the adoption of the budget was an attempt to overthrow the government by means of non-parliamentary methods,” Szydlo’s letter said.

Tusk was prime minister of Poland for centre-right Civic Platform party before becoming European Council chief.

He is the archenemy of Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the head of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, who has accused Tusk of plotting with Russia to kill his twin brother in the 2010 air disaster in Smolensk.

Kaczynski holds a new grudge against Tusk for urging the Polish government to respect its constitution in a dispute between Warsaw and the European Commission over the rule of law.

The Council chief irked the PiS head still further by announcing in Malta last month that he wanted a second EU term without first asking for Warsaw’s blessing.

EU diplomats said Poland would be unable to stop Tusk’s reappointment due to his wide respect in Europe.

They said Poland would also be unlikely to get a special EU summit on the reappointment controversy.

In another blow, Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the EU presidency, said he would not invite Kaczynski’s candidate, Polish MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, to Thursday’s summit despite Warsaw’s request.

Warsaw had hoped that given more time, more capitals could be convinced to support Saryusz-Wolski, who defected from the Civic Platform to seek the EU post.

Szydlo travelled to Brussels on Wednesday ahead of the summit to say Tusk should not get back in unless he had “broad support”.

But EU diplomats said in Brussels also on Wednesday that there was a "clear overwhelming majority" for Tusk.

Hungary and the UK said that they were happy with Tusk’s work, but did commit publicly to supporting the incumbent.

Some EU officials said that Poland’s “stubbornness” not only hurt Poland politically, but the entire central European region, of which Tusk stands as a symbol.

Others said that inability to name the next Council president could have “devastating consequences” for EU credibility at a time when European citizens expect results instead of infighting.

Muscat, who will chair the meeting during this session instead of Tusk, has a crucial role in keeping the atmosphere constructive and the discussion short, diplomats said.

If Muscat concludes there is enough support for Tusk, he does not need to call for a vote, and the session could end quickly, depending on how much resistance Poland puts up.

Tusk himself said on Wednesday in Brussels that he was not responsible for the political clash and that he has been and will be "impartial and politically neutral" as president.

"I am also responsible to protect EU values and principles, that's my role and deep belief," he said.

Poland isolated in bid to remove Tusk

Poland appears increasingly isolated in Brussels as it seeks public support to unseat Donald Tusk as president of the European Council.

Poland at war against Tusk's EU job

Poland's Law and Justice Party has put a little-known MEP, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, against Donald Tusk in the race for the European Council presidency.

Opinion

Poland's diplomatic suicide

Only the three other Visegrad states can contain Poland's suicide attempt by saying that Tusk is still central Europe's candidate.

EU re-elects Tusk, Poland isolated

EU leaders took just 30 minutes to vote Donald Tusk back into office, in a diplomatic fiasco for Polish prime minister Beata Szydlo.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal
  2. ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery
  3. Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal
  4. European Union returns to 2 percent growth
  5. Russian power most feared in Europe
  6. Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple
  7. UK unemployment lowest since 1975
  8. Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceDoes Genetics Explain Why So Few of Us Have an Ideal Cardiovascular Health?
  2. EU2017EEFuture-Themed Digital Painting Competition Welcomes Artists - Deadline 31 Aug
  3. ACCABusinesses Must Grip Ethics and Trust in the Digital Age
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Welcomes European Court of Justice's Decision to Keep Hamas on Terror List
  5. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersWe Need Democratic and Transparent Free Trade Agreements Says MEP Jordi Solé
  7. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  8. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  10. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  11. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  12. ECPAFood Waste in the Field Can Double Without Crop Protection. #WithOrWithout #Pesticides