Tusk rejects the idea of “the core of Europe”, says EU needs stable Balkans

Donald Tusk; Photo: European Union

BRUGES – In his keynote speech at the opening ceremony of the academic year at the College of Europe, outgoing President of the European Council Donald Tusk stressed the necessity to put a break on so-called “creative” ideas and initiatives such as “the core of Europe”

“There will be no sovereign Europe without stable Balkans integrated with the rest of the continent, and you don’t need to be a historian to understand this. And there will be no sovereign Europe without an independent Ukraine. Our tough and consistent stance on Russia was the first expression, so clear and unambiguous, of our sovereignty. We must persevere in this”, said the President of the European Council Donald Tusk at the opening ceremony of the 2019/2020 academic year at the College of Europe on Wednesday.

Turning to the French President, Tusk stressed that it was necessary to put a break on so-called “creative” ideas and initiatives such as “a smaller club”, “the core of Europe” and others.

“Such ideas stemmed in part from the frustration of federalists, and from often-justified complaints about some states blocking further integration”, pointed out Tusk, noticing that Paris was particularly active here, as he said, “paradoxically, especially after the election of President Macron, a sincere and energetic European”.

Speaking about the role of compromise in European politics, Tusk said that even if  compromise, negotiations and consensus are the key words, without which the EU cannot be understood, the fundamental European values cannot be the subject of compromise and negotiations.

“Europe is not a continent in a geographical sense. It is a continent in an axiological sense. And it will remain so, as long as we have enough strength to protect not only our borders and interests, but – first and foremost – the essence of Europe”, concluded Tusk.

Former Prime Minister of Poland will conclude his second mandate as the President of the European Council on 1 December, when he will be succeeded by Charles Michel of Belgium.