News Worms
News Worms

Tusk closing in on 2nd term as EU Council President

This is also likely to figure when 27 European Union leaders meet without Britain on Friday to discuss the March 25 summit in the Italian capital marking the 60th anniversary of the EU's founding Treaty of Rome.

European Commission's Future of Europe White Paper, unveiled last week by its President Jean-Claude Juncker, will be debated as national leaders need to find a common position for the future direction of the European project ahead of the Rome summit. "I can only state that I will continue to work for a better and more united Europe with all member states, without exception". "There are very clear rules of engagement and rules of procedure that we will follow", Muscat said. But other leaders insist there is little appetite for a delay.

"Why don't we respect each other, listen to each other?" Merkel offered Tusk public support in a pre-summit speech to lawmakers in Berlin.

They are finalising a special declaration on shoring up European Union unity after Brexit, but there are divisions about whether this should back a so-called "multi-speed Europe".

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said it was unheard of to confirm a president without the consent of his home nation and hinted that the most important east European nation in the EU could run an opposition course in a bloc where much is decided by common consent.

So, too, is the role Poland will play in Brexit negotiations now that UK Prime Minister Theresa May threw her support behind Tusk.

Ahead of the meeting, a bitter war of words has broken out on the appointment of the council president for the period from June 1, 2017 to November 30, 2019.

Poland's nationalist government has proposed little-known Polish EU lawmaker Jacek Saryusz-Wolski to replace Tusk, whose current term ends May 31.

Ms Szydlo has accused her predecessor of interfering in domestic politics through his support for Poland's centrist opposition party.

But his acceptance of the nomination has caused bitterness in the EPP group. "He enjoys unanimous support from the entire party".

Malta, now chairing European Union business, is likely to seek approval of Mr Tusk by consensus.

This gives rise to a very risky European union.


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