Polish PM stakes claim to EU president post

Donald Tusk is “definitely considering” the job and “many leaders” are urging him to take it

Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk is frontrunner for the EU job. Photograph: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Poland’s prime minister Donald Tusk is frontrunner for the EU job. Photograph: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

 

The behind-the-scenes campaign for top European Union positions burst into the open as Polish prime minister Donald Tusk staked a claim to the post of EU president.

Tusk (57) is “definitely considering” the job and “many leaders” are urging him to take it, a Polish government spokeswoman said in Warsaw yesterday.

Backing by German chancellor Angela Merkel and British prime minister David Cameron gives Tusk the upper hand going into today’s summit which aims to complete the 28-nation bloc’s leadership roster for the next five years.

EU-wide unemployment of 10.2 per cent and the Russia- Ukraine conflict raise the pressure for decisions today after leaders blew a first chance to name the next president and foreign policy chief at a summit last month. Tusk has urged a tough EU response to Russia’s infiltration of Ukraine.

His appointment would balance the possible selection as foreign policy chief of Italy’s Federica Mogherini, who some eastern leaders see as too Russia-friendly.

“Tusk is perfectly suited to lead the EU and it’s an unique opportunity to give Poland a bigger role in Europe, ” said Polish agriculture minister Marek Sawicki, whose Polish Peasants’ Party is junior partner to Tusk’s Civic Platform in the governing coalition.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy will attend today’s meeting. – (Bloomberg)