ZAGREB — The European People’s Party on Wednesday elected former European Council President Donald Tusk as its leader, replacing Frenchman Joseph Daul.
Tusk opens a new chapter in the history of the EPP
“With Tusk, we will be opening a new chapter in the history of the EPP,” David McAllister, a senior German MEP, told POLITICO. “Tusk has proven to be a bridge builder between the east and the west, and as a former prime minister [of Poland] and president of the Council, he has huge experience and I very much look forward to him shaping the future of Europe’s largest political family.”
A former member of Poland’s Solidarity movement, Tusk became the longest-serving prime minister in Poland and carried out two terms as European Council president.
“Someone who has been a Polish minister for seven years, who has been leading the European Council with straight-talking and very bold when he wants to be, I think he will be debarrassé [spared], as the French would say, of all the honest brokerage style that the president of the European Council needs to have,” Andrej Plenković, Croatia’s prime minister, told reporters at a press conference on Tuesday.
A few hours before the vote, Tusk gave an impassioned speech which targeted “autocrats,” populists and, without naming him directly, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and those “putting up a fence and billboards with anti-migration propaganda.”