Poland urges European Union to reject Tusk presidency

10 March, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Archie Newman

Szydlo said the other European Union countries had ignored Poland's valid reasons to oppose Tusk's re-election.

At the meeting, ministers have also elaborated on its position about the future of Europe due to be discussed at a European Council on Thursday.

Kaczynski and his Law and Justice (PiS) government accuse Tusk of overstepping his mandate by often engaging in Poland's internal affairs, notably when criticising PiS during the opposition's parliamentary stand-off over media freedom in December.

It is one of the bloc's most prestigious jobs, and involves chairing summits and coordinating the work of the member countries and make sure the 28 nations speak as much as possible with one voice on the worldwide stage.

"Nothing without us, without our consent", Szydlo said upon arrival for the summit.

Tusk's first term expires in May and he enjoys the comfortable backing of most EU states to be reappointed for another 2-1/2 years as president of the European Council, responsible for chairing summits of EU leaders.

Party leader Jaroslaw Kaczinski said in 2012 he held Tusk "politically" accountable for the death of his twin brother, then Poland's president Lech Kaczynski, who was killed along with other 95 people in a plane crash in Russian Federation in 2010.

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Tusk, a former prime minister, tweeted his thanks for the support.

The newly re-elected Tusk said he was "grateful for the trust the European Council has placed in me, but now is not the time for self-congratulations".

Poland's eurosceptic government, which has repeatedly clashed with Brussels in recent months over the rule of law, on Saturday stunned the European Union by nominating Euro-MP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski instead of Tusk.

What does the European Council president do?

The leaders of the EU's post-Brexit "big four" - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - used a summit in Versailles on Monday to back plans for countries to choose at which speed they integrate on key issues.

"Unity does not equal uniformity", French President Francois Hollande said after the talks.

Tusk is expected to be backed by an overwhelming majority of leaders.

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