The Malta Independent 22 October 2016, Saturday

European Council president designate Donald Tusk learning English in Malta

Monday, 6 October 2014, 13:34 Last update: about 3 years ago

Donald Tusk is currently in Malta mastering the English Language, in preparation for his inauguration as President of the European Council on 1 December 2014, replacing Herman Van Rompuy. The intense course is being funded by the European Union.

The European Union is funding 21,000 euro for each new high official to learn a foreign language, on the condition that they study 5 hours per day.

Donald Tusk's English is shaky, his French nonexistent, and his nation - Poland - has only sat at the EU table since 2004.

No matter. European Union leaders instead focused on his talents - a rare political acumen and a pro-European bent - before unanimously naming the Polish prime minister to one of the bloc's top leadership posts.

Tusk's selection as European Council president came after he successfully led his country through the economic turbulence of the European debt crisis that devastated much of the continent. It was also a nod to Eastern Europe's growing clout within the 28-nation EU, which Poland joined 10 years ago after emerging from under Moscow's control.

The media-friendly Tusk, 57, is the longest-serving prime minister in Poland's 25 years of democracy. His seven years in office have given Poland's politics, economy and residents an undisturbed sense of stability. His perfect reading of social moods allowed him to address the needs of Poles even during the debt crisis and while still trying to develop his nation's fledging market economy.




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