Donald Tusk heads to Brussels for talks as he bids to become Polish PM – Europe live | Donald Tusk
Speaking in Brussels this morning, Donald Tusk said his purpose was to rebuild Poland’s standing on the continent.
Almost 10 years ago, in my first speech as a president of the European Council, I said that I came to Brussels with a strong sense of purpose. And I think I can repeat these words also today. This purpose today is to rebuild the position of my country in Europe, and to strengthen the EU as a whole.
The results of the elections in Poland and the amazing turnout … showed clearly to the whole of Europe, I think, that democracy, rule of law, freedom of speech, European unity, are still really important to our citizens.
I am really proud of my compatriots. They have proved that the anti-democratic and anti-European mood doesn’t have to be a trend, that it’s just seasonal turbulence – I hope. I’m so proud to be a Pole, and to be a European. We all have proved to ourselves, but also to the world, that if you believe in change, if you make an effort, it will pay off – and it did.”
Speaking alongside Poland’s Donald Tusk at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said this morning that the high turnout in the Polish election “has shown once again that Poles are strongly attached to democracy.”
We will be discussing important issues today, in which the voice of Poland is crucial.
The Commission chief pointed to “the war at the borders of our union, and the continued support for Ukraine,” praising Poles for their solidarity.
Von der Leyen also said they will also discuss the future of Europe’s security architecture and modernising the EU’s economy.
We will talk about democracy in Europe, and all those values that are at the heart of the European Union.
The two politicians will also discuss Poland’s recovery funding.
“I know that Donald Tusk and I will find a lot of common ground on all these issues,” von der Leyen said.
What’s next for Poland?
In an opinion piece for the Guardian, political scientist Ivan Krastev writes that the outcome of the Polish election makes Europe’s turn to the right appear less irreversible.
The future is never as bright as it is portrayed in the speeches of the winners on election night. The opposition has won, but these elections reconfirmed the existence of two Polands, and this second, Kaczyński’s Poland, will not disappear. The new governing coalition will also not be an easy one. The opposition’s victory does not mean that mistrust of Germany will disappear or that Polish criticism of Germany was wrong in the first place.
But this victory does signal both a political change in Poland and a mood change in Europe. Europe’s turn to the right now looks less irreversible.
Read the full story here.
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Today we will be looking at the latest in Slovakia and Poland, where new governments are in the making following parliamentary elections.
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Donald Tusk, the Polish opposition politician who is now set to (once again) become prime minister, will meet with senior EU officials in Brussels today.
Poland’s opposition performed well in the country’s 15 October election, and three opposition parties have declared their intent to form a government with Tusk as candidate for prime minister.
Tusk is a well-respected figure in Europe, having previously served as president of the European Council.
“Tusk is coming to Brussels to send a strong signal that his future government will be firmly committed to the goal of restoration of the rule of law and judicial independence,” said Piotr Buras, head of the Warsaw office at the European Council on Foreign Relations.
The Polish politician, Buras told the Guardian this morning, “hopes that such a political declaration may bring a breakthrough in the talks about the RRF [Recovery and Resilience] funds for Poland which the Commission has blocked due to severe violations if the rule of law by the PiS government.”
“Due to President Andrzej Duda’s opposition to legal changes required by the Commission … Tusk can not promise that a new law expected by the Commission as a precondition to release the funds would enter into force quickly,” the think tanker noted.
So, his hope is that his political credibility and good will suffice to convince the Commission to unlock the money. This is extemely important for Poland and for Tusk himself as it has been one of his key electoral promises.