Atlantic Council Program Assistant Ian Hansen writes for the EUobserver on why Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk’s proven leadership and established European relationships should inspire optimism for Europe’s future:
Even for optimists, it is often difficult to be enthusiastic about the direction of the EU. However, the recent choice of Polish prime minister Donald Tusk as the next president of the European Council is an auspicious sign.
True, the selection process that brought him to power remains more about expedience than merit. Yet, replacing Herman Van Rompuy with Tusk as “president of the presidents” suggests the Council will have more determined leadership to enact Europe’s agenda. Tusk’s political style and already strong European connections can help drive the Council to more united policies on critical issues.
First consider the outgoing European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. The haiku-writing “grey mouse” previously served as Belgium’s president where he achieved success by keeping his government and country from splintering. Van Rompuy accomplished this by avoiding issues connected to Belgium’s interminable squabbling.