Donald Tusk, the former Prime Minister of Poland, today replaced Herman Van Rompuy as the President of the European Council.
“I come here with a strong sense of purpose,” said President Tusk at a handover ceremony with his predecessor. “In these difficult times, Europe needs success.” He highlighted that success for Europe means: commitment to protect the European Union fundamental values of freedom and solidarity, and preserve the unity of the EU against internal and external threats; strong determination to end the economic crisis; a strong EU internationally and support for countries in the neighborhood.
President Tusk also stressed the importance of transatlantic relations as the backbone of the community of democracies. “Both we and the Americans are responsible for the future of our relations. The year ahead will be crucial.”
Underlining the importance he attaches to EU-U.S. relations, President Tusk spoke on the phone with United States President Barack Obama. They discussed the important work ahead in negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, and agreed to step up efforts towards reaching agreement. They also shared concerns over the crisis in Ukraine, and agreed to continue working together closely, including on sanctions as well as on financial support to Ukraine.
Video: President Tusk Tells His Story
Video: Handover between Incoming President Tusk and Outgoing President Herman Van Rompuy
Statement by President Tusk after Telephone Call with President Obama
Photos and More information about President Tusk