Van Rompuy hands over to new European Council President Tusk
On Monday 1 December 2014, Donald Tusk formally took over the function of President of the European Council from his predecessor Herman van Rompuy, at a formal handover event in Brussels. Mr. Tusk, the former prime minister of Poland, was appointed on 30 August 2014 and holds this mandate for a fixed term of two and a half years.
In his address at the handover ceremony on Monday, President Tusk listed four big challenges to be addressed during his term in office:
- protecting Europe's fundamental values of solidarity, freedom, and unity against threats to the Union,
- "ruthless determination" to end the economic crisis and completing the economic monetary union,
- a strong international role for the European Union, and
- the relations between Europe and the United States as "the backbone of the community of democracies".
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