European Union leaders voted to reappoint Donald Tusk despite stark Polish opposition

  • European Union leaders voted to reappoint Donald Tusk despite stark Polish opposition

European Union leaders voted to reappoint Donald Tusk despite stark Polish opposition

President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan sent a congratulatory message to Donald Tusk on reelection of the President of European Council.

Law & Justice also accuses Tusk of inappropriately intervening in the EU's rule-of-law probe of Poland. His spokesman, Preben Aamann, tweeted that he was "waiting outside". "I will do my best to make the European Union better", Mr Tusk tweeted after being re-elected for another two-and-a-half year term, starting from June.

So, too, does the Polish government believe Tusk is using his European Council presidency to interfere in Poland's domestic politics. "We would plunge Europe into a senseless crisis if we now started a personnel discussion at the head of the Council".

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the PiS party chief who is widely regarded as Poland's most powerful politician, on Tuesday called arch-rival Tusk "Germany's candidate" for European Union president.

"Grateful for trust & positive assessment by #EUCO". Her statements seemed chiefly addressed to ruling party supporters in Poland.

"I hear very often that central European countries benefit from the EU budget and because of this should be obedient", the Polish premier said. Her bid to oust Tusk is so far backed only by Hungary. "We can not hide this, this country is Germany", Kaczynski told reporters in Warsaw.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte told press on Thursday evening that there were different legal formats by which the member states could formally confirm the decisions taken.

Faced with United States President Donald Trump's "America first" economic policy and a resurgent anti-globalisation tilt in their own backyards, the European Union chiefs used their last full meeting before Dutch and French elections to express their commitment to free trade and open commerce, pointing specifically to deals with Asian nations.

Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka revealed Poland was the only country to oppose Mr Trusk's reappointment.

Apart from Tusk, EPP politicians head the EU Commission through Jean-Claude Juncker and the Parliament, with Antonio Tajani at its head. It is one of the bloc's most prestigious jobs, and involves chairing summits and coordinating the work of member countries.

Kaczynski holds Tusk "morally responsible" for the death of his twin brother.

Before heading into the meeting, French President Francois Hollande, Merkel and Muscat said that Tusk had their full support. "The EU will remain engaged in the Western Balkans and stand by its commitments", Tusk said.

Leaders had hoped to rubber-stamp Tusk's new term, which would run from May until November 2019, but Poland put forward a surprise rival candidate, euro-MP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, at the weekend. An EU summit is due to elect the president for the next term Thursday.

In a letter to fellow leaders, Szydlo said Warsaw wanted Tusk out because he criticised government policies back home.

She showed no remorse for Poland's stance at the summit, saying her country had the right to take a stand.

Tossing diplomatic decorum aside, Poland's government brought the equivalent of a political blood feud to Europe's top table, much to the bewilderment and concern of Europe's leaders.

Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said Poland would "do everything" to prevent a vote on the matter.