Poland says European Union under 'Berlin's diktat' after Tusk re-election
- Author: Joe Gonzales Mar 10, 2017,
Mar 10, 2017, 0:44
Key Eurocrat Donald Tusk has vowed to "make the European Union better" after he was confirmed for a second term as its Council president.
The leaders will meet again on Friday, minus May, to prepare for a "unity" summit to be held in Rome on March 25, the 60th anniversary of the treaty that laid the EU's foundation.
"I don't see how one country could oppose this solution when all the others are in favor", said French President Francois Hollande, echoing comment from numerous bloc's 28 leaders.
Thursday's others talks should see agreement on pressing ahead with new free trade pacts despite "protectionist tendencies" elsewhere - a reference to European concerns about new U.S. President Donald Trump.
European Union leaders are set to meet this week in attempts to strengthen relations in the council before the departure of Britain from the bloc, but Warsaws concerns over European Union leadership could potentially dampen the gathering.
Tusk ruled Poland between 2007 and 2014 in the centre-right Civic Platform party.
"I hear very often that central European countries benefit from the EU budget and because of this should be obedient", the Polish premier said. Tusk tweeted: "Grateful for the European Council's confidence and positive assessment".
"We knew this would happen", Prime Minister Joseph Muscat told reporters.
Poland's government wants a Polish center-right European lawmaker, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, to replace Tusk, whose term ends May 31.
Meanwhile, the leaders will also look at how to sustain the momentum of reinforcing Europe's security and defense, Tusk said.
Diplomats said that Tusk's reappointment would not be prevented even if Warsaw blocked the summit conclusions. That period coincides with the expected two-year Brexit talks on United Kingdom withdrawal from the EU.
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.