Donald Tusk is a Polish politician and historian who has been the President of the European Council since 2014. He served as 67th Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 and was a co-founder and chairman of the Civic Platform political party. Tusk has been involved in Polish politics since the early 1990s, having founded several political parties and held elected office almost continuously since 1991. He was elected Prime Minister in 2007 and with his Civic Union party’s victory in the 2011 Polish parliamentary election, he became the first Prime Minister to be re-elected since the fall of Communism in Poland.
In 2014, he became President of the European Council, and was re-elected to this position in 2017. He resigned as Polish Prime Minister to take the role, having been the longest-serving Prime Minister of the Third Polish Republic. In continental policy, Tusk strongly supported greater political and economic integration within the European Union, strongly backing the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, standing in stark contrast to President Lech Kaczyński’s vehement opposition.
Tusk repeatedly stated his government’s intention in bringing Poland into the Eurozone. Originally wanting to introduce the euro by 2012, Tusk envisaged in 2009 a starting year of 2015 as a realistic and not overly-ambitious goal .However, during the European sovereign debt crisis, Tusk and his government displayed less optimism in joining the monetary union under contemporary economic circumstances, leading to Finance Minister Jan Vincent-Rostowski calling any move unthinkable.
Despite not being a member of the eurozone, Tusk pressed that Poland, along with the other non-eurozone states of the EU, should be included in future euro financial negotiations. Between July and December 2011, Poland under Tusk’s government presided over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Under its presidency tenure, Poland supported and welcomed Croatia’s entry into the European Union through the Treaty of Accession 2011.
While being a constituent member of the Weimar Triangle with fellow states Germany and France, Tusk showed displeasure over German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s and French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s dominating roles in eurozone negotiations, remarking to Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in January 2012 that ‘this should not translate into a lasting political monopoly: things cannot be left to only two capitals of Europe.‘
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Watch Donald delivering a speech regarding Brexit negotiations, here: