Donald Tusk gets second term as EC President
9 March 2017, Brussels: Donald Tusk was re-appointed for a second term as president of the European Council (Consilium), one of the EU’s governing bodies, despite objections from the government of his own country, Poland, that had created an unprecedented confrontation in Brussels.
It was the first time such a decision was made without unanimity since the position was created in 2009.
The council sets the leaders’ agenda; President Tusk is expected to forge compromise amongst its fractious membership during a two-and-a-half-year term. President Tusk acknowledged the “unusual circumstances” created by the opposition of his own nation and offered the government in Warsaw an olive branch by pledging to work with all members “without any exceptions.”
The meeting also was the first time the leaders gathered inside an orb-like structure at the heart of their new headquarters, called Europa. During the dinner the Balkans were top on the agenda as were possibilities of Russian aggression in Europe.
To encourage Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia to stick to paths of peace and reform, the leaders offered fresh assurances to they would eventually be able to join the European Union if they met the criteria for membership.
European leaders, with the exception of Poland, who blocked a formal endorsement by the European Council, reaffirmed their “unequivocal support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans” in a statement.
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Picture by EU/President Donald Tusk