Tusk: 'There is no Europe without the rule of law'
May 9, 2019
Speaking at the EU summit in Romania, European Council President Donald Tusk has given a strong defense of the rule of law. He also said politicians who don't address climate and environmental issues have no future.
After addressing the need for swift decisions as a guarantee for effective EU institutions, Tusk promised that new leadership positions within the EU would be filled in June, immediately following European parliamentary elections. He also stressed the need for geographic, demographic, and gender balance in the Council's appointments.
Juncker says, 'things are not as bad as all that'
Tusk was joined by Romanian President Klaus Iohannis and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, who underscored the progress that Europe was making in a number of areas, pointing out that unemployment and deficits have continued to fall across the bloc and that investments are up.
Juncker said, "Things are not perfect by any means, but they are not as bad as all that."
Merkel ally is frontrunner for EU's top job
Impassioned defense of the rule of law
But it was in response to journalists' questions that Tusk shone as the most passionate of the three. Asked about European values, Tusk replied: "For all of us … or maybe, for almost all of us … the rule of law is the essence of our political activity, and it will also be at the center of our strategy agenda."
Tusk, however, said that a younger generation of Europeans was much more united than member states on the need to act. He praised young students protesting in the streets and demanding action, calling it fresh and energetic.
He said protests were the right way forward, noting that politicians were sensitive to such popular pressure and warning his colleagues: "I am absolutely sure that there is no future for politicians without this sensitivity and imagination … If not tomorrow, for sure, the day after tomorrow, they will lose."