Wall Street Journal on December 1, 2014, on Donald Tusk, the new president of the European Council, bringing a clear-eyed geopolitical and economic perspective to Brussels. During his seven years as prime minister, Poland was the only economy in the 28-nation block to avoid recession. Mr. Tusk was the most successful European politician of the past decade besides his close ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel . Excerpts below:
As a Pole who grew up in politics through the anti-Communist Solidarity movement, Mr. Tusk hasn’t forgotten Europe’s recent dalliances with repression. “The threats” to the EU come from inside and outside, said Mr. Tusk in remarks Monday taking the EU post. “Not only are euroskeptics questioning the EU’s value, the Union has enemies. Politics has returned to Europe.
History is back. And such times need leadership and political unity.”
Mr Tusk didn’t mention Vladimir Putin by name, but his meaning was obvious. He also said that “Europe has to secure its borders and support those in the neighborhood who share our values.”
On another refreshing note, Mr. Tusk said that “relations between Europe and the United States are the backbone of the community of democracies.” This is a rebuke to the anti-Americanism that is re-emerging on the European right and left.
Europe faces “difficult times” ahead, as President Tusk said. At least it has a leader who seems to see clearly the dangers.