“Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” Finally a name and a number to answer Henry Kissinger’s question

Handshake between Donald Tusk, Herman van Rompuy and Federica Mogherini (from left to right) during the end of the August Council where Mr Tusk got the top EU job. (EC Audiovisual Services, 30/08/2014)

Handshake between Donald Tusk, Herman van Rompuy and Federica Mogherini (from left to right) during the end of the August Council where Mr Tusk got the top EU job. (EC Audiovisual Services, 30/08/2014)

The much awaited succession ceremony at the EU Council took place yesterday in Brussels. Herman Van Rompuy, leaving President of the EU Council, handed over Europe’s top job to Poland’s Donald Tusk. Mr Tusk, who served as Premier Minister of Poland two times, is considered to be one of Europe’s most successful politicians of the past years, together with the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

The political career of the 57 year old Pole kicked off in the 1980s when he joined the anti-soviet political movement in his country and took part in the protests. He then led Poland’s center-right Civic Platform from 2001 for 13 years, only to become at the end of it, the first EU President coming from the ‘East’. Last August at the EU Council he was voted by EU leaders as the chosen one to drive the EU toward better days.

Mr Tusk, the “favourite son of Poland” as Mr Van Rompuy calls him, seems to be bringing with him a lot of confidence and hope in a sorely bad economic time for the Old Continent. “I come here with a strong sense of purpose,”…“In these difficult times, Europe needs success”, were his first words to come out yesterday. Later the Pole maintained and recapped the current core agenda of the EU, economy, TTIP, relations with Russia and UK exit.

Referring to TTIP, he said: “We are both responsible for the future of our relations. The year ahead will be crucial”. Confirming the Council’s clear intention to conclude the trade agreement with the other side of the Atlantic, he continued: “Relations between Europe and the United States are the backbone of the community of democracies”.

Touching upon European economy, a major spike for Europe at the moment, he said that “we need ruthless determination to end the economic crisis”. “We most certainly do but our good EU leaders are not able to push the right buttons”, we would like to add. The Polish politician also stated that “It is our responsibility to complete a genuine economic and monetary union”. In addition, concerning the common currency he noted that “we need to prevent Europe from dividing into euro and non-euro camps. I wouldn’t have taken job if it involved (a) new institutional split.”

Later on, he did not omit one of Juncker’s top priorities, “answer to the British question”. The new EU Council President vowed yesterday to bring back “fundamental values, solidarity, freedom, unity, against the threats to the European Union coming both from outside and inside”. Further, pointing to the anti-EU movement that is expressed in the form of political parties as well he insightfully underlined: “Today not only are eurosceptics questioning the EU’s value, we have also enemies, not only sceptic.  Politics has returned to Europe… “History is back. And such times need leadership and political unity”.

Europe’s new leader also made a clear hint to the Russia-EU relations. Looking at the Russian invasion in Ukraine, he adds that “Europe has to secure its borders and support those in the neighborhood who share our values”.

All in all, it is undeniable that the expectations are very high from Mr Tusk. And this is due to the fact that the stakes are very high in the EU currently. Besides the harsh criticism he has been receiving for his command in English, we need to see fast that he is able to steer the wheel of Europe correctly, finding the right balance between EU member states and the common EU interest.

The challenges will be plenty and tough. Can the “open hearted” Pole, as Mr Rompuy calls him, make it? It remains to be seen.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Access and hesitancy as major challenges surrounding covid-19 vaccination campaigns

Why climate change matters for future health professionals

UN envoy says he ‘is ready to go to Idlib’ to help ensure civilian safety amid rising fears of government offensive

MEPs back EU partnership agreement with Armenia

Can we ensure patients’ safety without taking care of healthcare workers?

George Floyd: these are the injustices that led to the protests in the United States

State aid: Commission approves €1.1 billion Polish scheme to further support companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

Climate change update: consistent global actions urgently needed as we are running out of time

Colombia’s former president says COVID-19 shows the importance of listening to indigenous peoples on how we treat the planet

Remittances could fall by $100 billion because of COVID-19 – here’s why that matters

Database of businesses linked to Israeli settlements ‘important initial step’ towards accountability: rights expert

This study wants every child in the UK to spend a night under the stars

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

Greenery: the miracle cure for urban living

Gender Equality in Medicine: are we now so different from the Middle Ages?

Sustainability, peace, security ‘best guarantee against instability’ Guterres to Security Council

To build the workforce of the future, we need to revolutionize how we learn

The International Women’s Day 2031

COP25: MEPs push for CO2 neutrality by 2050

6 ways social innovators are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus: The truth against the myths

ECB is about to lend trillions to banks

UN General Assembly celebrates 20 years of promoting a culture of peace

Except Poland, can climate change also wait until 2021 for the EU Market Stability Reserve to be launched?

A Brussels antithesis reveals where the EU is heading

UN welcomes ‘record’ Brussels conference pledge of nearly $7 billion to support Syrians

Yemen: Escalation in fighting must stop ‘before it’s too late’, Griffiths tells Security Council

14 innovative projects helping to save the planet and make the world a better place

Why flexible workspaces are the key to winning the talent war

Eurozone slowly but surely builds its Banking Union

Mountains matter, especially if you’re young, UN declares

Azeri natural gas will keep the EU warm soon

AI can help with the COVID-19 crisis – but the right human input is key

‘Do something’; UN relief chief urges Security Council action to stop the Syrian carnage unfolding ‘in front of your eyes’

JADE Spring Meeting 2017 – day 3: JADE Academy trainings, networking session and gala dinner – Excellence Awards winners revealed

Over 820 million people suffering from hunger; new UN report reveals stubborn realities of ‘immense’ global challenge

5 ways to make your organization a great sustainability partner

‘Deteriorating’ human rights in Belarus amounts to ‘wholescale oppression’: UN expert

UN chief welcomes ‘first concrete step’ in normalizing Eritrea-Ethiopia relationship

COVID-19 vaccines: MEPs call for more clarity and transparency

State aid: Commission approves a Polish scheme to compensate large companies for damages suffered due to coronavirus outbreak and provide liquidity support

UN Convention that promotes mediation to resolve trade disputes moves closer to entry into force

More women in Latin America are working, but gender gap persists, new UN figures show

Good grub: why we might be eating insects soon

EUREKA @ European Business Summit 2014: A European patent system can help European businesses lead industrial research and innovation on a global scale

Terrorism ‘spreading and destabilizing’ entire regions, Guterres warns States, at key Kenya conference

Further reforms in France can drive growth, improve public finances and boost social cohesion

All for equality – 2020 is a pivotal year for Gender Equality

Questions and answers: Commission proposes SURE, a new temporary instrument worth up to €100 billion to help protect jobs and people in work

It’s getting harder to move data abroad. Here’s why it matters and what we can do

Parliament demands ban on neo-fascist and neo-Nazi groups in the EU

EU farm policy reform: Council must be more flexible – we cannot waste more time

Coronavirus is creating retirement insecurity. These 10 steps can diffuse the timebomb of an ageing population

London wants new skyscrapers to protect cyclists from wind tunnels

EU ready to relinquish its internal tax havens

One Day in Beijing

The US reject EU proposal for prudential financial controls

Industrial producer prices on free fall and stagnant output

China by numbers: 10 facts to help you understand the superpower today

Car-free day – and the other 364 days of the year

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s