Politics

11 things you wanted to ask about Donald Tusk

  • He was born in Gdansk, the cradle of Poland’s anti-communist revolution, and organised youth cells that played a key role for Solidarnosc’s stand against the Soviet Union.
  • He’s the only Prime Minister to win a second term since the advent of democracy in Poland in 1989.
  • He speaks fluent German, but many have criticized his poor English and French.
  • He won the 2010 Charlemagne prize, awarded for work done in the service of European unification. “I come from a country that deeply believes in a united Europe. […] I am also convinced there is no intelligent alternative to the EU”, he said after the vote
  • Thanks to their excellent relationship and a similar political allegiance, Mr Tusk has managed to cement with Merkel a close Polish-German alliance. Many fear that will mean Mr Tusk will bend over the Chancellor irrespective of the duty of neutrality his post entails.
  • Mr Tusk antecedents, and thus its nomination, may well be considered a signal to Russia that the EU will not tolerate war-mongering in the east. As opposed to the new HR Federica Mogherini, he’s believed to harbour hawkish anti-Russian feelings – at a recent WWII commemoration he affirmed that Russia’s actions merit a tough NATO response.
  • He only decided to leave Polish politics for Brussels less than 24 hours before accepting the post.
  • He was partly to blame for the 20% growth the Polish economy has experienced throughout his tenure, and this in spite of Europe’s economic crisis.
  • He’s a fervent believer in cementing Poland’s place in the Western bloc, be it within the EU or NATO.
  • He has been described as an Atlanticist and might be what the EU need in order to spur the TTIP process.
  • He has vowed to try to keep Britain – he gets on quite well with David Cameron and shares much of its liberal ideology – in the EU by promising some reforms.

 

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