53 Facts About Donald Tusk


Donald Franciszek Tusk is a Polish politician who was president of the European Council from 2014 to 2019.


Donald Tusk served as the 14th Prime Minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014 and was a co-founder and leader of the Civic Platform political party from 2003 to 2014.


On 20 November 2019, Tusk was elected as the president of the European People's Party, Europe's largest transnational political party and on 3 July 2021 he returned to Polish politics by reassuming the leadership of the Civic Platform.


Donald Tusk has been involved in Polish politics since the early 1990s, having founded several political parties and held elected office almost continuously since 1991.


Donald Tusk was one of the co-founders of the free-market-orientated Liberal Democratic Congress party.


Donald Tusk entered the Sejm in 1991, but lost his seat in the 1993 election which went badly for the Congress.


In 1997, Donald Tusk was elected to the Senate, and became its deputy speaker.


Donald Tusk was candidate for president of Poland in the 2005 election then he was appointed prime minister in 2007.


Donald Tusk resigned as Polish prime minister to take the role, having been the longest-serving Prime Minister of the Third Polish Republic and the third longest-serving Prime Minister of Poland after Jozef Cyrankiewicz and Piotr Jaroszewicz.


Donald Tusk has Polish, German and Kashubian ancestry.


Donald Tusk's father, named Donald Tusk, was a carpenter, and his mother, Ewa Tusk, was a nurse.


Donald Tusk's grandfather, Jozef Tusk, was a railway official who was imprisoned at the Neuengamme concentration camp; later, as a former citizen of the Free City of Danzig, he was apparently conscripted by German authorities into the Wehrmacht.


Donald Tusk has described his young life under communism as "so hopeless" due to the boredom and monotony, with "no hope for anything to change".


Donald Tusk credits his interest in politics to watching clashes between striking workers and riot police when he was a teenager.


Donald Tusk enrolled at the University of Gdansk to study history, and graduated in 1980.


Donald Tusk was one of the founders of the Liberal Democratic Congress, which in the 1991 elections won 37 seats in the lower house of parliament.


Donald Tusk became deputy chairman of the new party, and was elected to the Senate in the next election in 1997.


Donald Tusk wanted to enforce a separation of church and state, favoured rapid European integration and supported a free-market economy.


Donald Tusk resigned as Prime Minister and was succeeded by Marshal of the Sejm Ewa Kopacz.


Later in office, Donald Tusk changed his views on the role of taxation in the functioning of the state and his government never cut any taxes.


On 27 October 2009, Donald Tusk declared that he wanted to partially ban gambling.


Donald Tusk is opposed to legalising abortion on demand, believing that current Polish legislation on abortion at that time protected human life best.


In foreign policy, Donald Tusk sought to improve relations severely damaged during the previous Kaczynski government, particularly with Germany and Russia.


Donald Tusk advocated a more realistic relationship with Moscow, especially in regard to energy policy.


In regard to US plans of hosting missile defense shield bases in the country, Donald Tusk hinted skepticism toward the project, saying that their presence could potentially increase security risks from Russia, and rejected US offers in early July 2008.


Donald Tusk announced that Polish soldiers would not take military action in Libya, although he voiced support for the 2011 military intervention in Libya and pledged to offer logistical support.


Contrary to the condemnation of foreign governments and the leadership of the European Union, Donald Tusk supported Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban in his efforts of implementing a new controversial constitution.


Donald Tusk stated that the Hungarian constitution's democratic controversies were "exaggerated" and that Hungary had "a European level standard of democracy".


In early 2012, Donald Tusk announced his support for committing Poland to signing the international Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement.


In continental policy, Donald Tusk strongly supported greater political and economic integration within the European Union, strongly backing the implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, standing in stark contrast to President Lech Kaczynski's vehement opposition.


Donald Tusk repeatedly stated his government's intention in bringing Poland into the Eurozone.


Originally wanting to introduce the euro by 2012, Donald Tusk envisaged in 2009 a starting year of 2015 as "a realistic and not overly-ambitious goal".


Between July and December 2011, Poland under Donald Tusk's government presided over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.


In 2009, Donald Tusk proposed changes to the power of the presidency, by abolishing the presidential veto.


Donald Tusk again reiterated his desire for constitutional reform in February 2010, proposing that the presidential veto be overridden by a simple parliamentary majority rather than through a three-fifths vote.


Similarly, Donald Tusk proposed radical changes to the Senate, preferring to abolish the upper house altogether, yet due to constitutional concerns and demands from the junior coalition Polish People's Party partner, Donald Tusk proposed reducing the Senate from 100 to 49, while including former presidents to sit in the Senate for political experience and expertise in state matters.


Donald Tusk replied that although the presidential election typically drew the most voters to the polls and remained Poland's most high-profiled race, the presidency had little political power outside of the veto, and preferred to remain as prime minister.


Donald Tusk dedicated the prize to the people killed in a plane crash of a Polish Air Force Tu-154 in April 2010 including the Polish president Lech Kaczynski.


On 16 December 2018, Donald Tusk was awarded an honorary doctorate at the TU Dortmund University, Germany, "in recognition of his services to European politics and his contribution to the debate on European values".


Donald Tusk succeeded Herman Van Rompuy as President of the European Council on 1 December 2014.


Since assuming office, Donald Tusk has notably worked to promote a unified European response to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine.


Donald Tusk made attempts to co-ordinate the EU's response to the European migrant crisis, and warned illegal economic migrants not to come to Europe.


Ahead of the UK's EU membership referendum Donald Tusk warned of dire consequences should the UK vote to leave.


On 31 January 2017, Donald Tusk wrote an open letter to the 27 EU heads of state or government on the future of the EU before the Malta summit.


On 9 March 2017, Donald Tusk was re-elected for a second term to run until 30 November 2019.


Donald Tusk maintains there will be no winners from Brexit and the two years following the triggering of Article 50 will be a time of damage limitation.


On 6 February 2019, Donald Tusk held talks with Irish Premier Leo Varadkar in Brussels to discuss Britain's departure from the European Union, stating that there was a "special place in Hell for those who promoted Brexit without even a sketch of a plan how to carry it out safely".


In September 2019, Donald Tusk said that the EU should open accession talks with both Albania and North Macedonia.


Donald Tusk reprimanded Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan for threatening to send millions of Syrian refugees to Europe and denounced the Turkish operation in northern Syria as destabilizing the region, which he demanded to halt.


In July 2021, Donald Tusk relocated to Warsaw and resumed an active role in Polish politics as leader of Civic Platform.


On 10 January 2019, Donald Tusk gave a seven-minute speech only in Romanian at the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest at the ceremony that marked the beginning of Romania's EU Council Presidency.


On 12 December 2019, Donald Tusk published a diary "Szczerze", based on his five-year-term as President of the European Council, which became a bestseller in Poland.


Donald Tusk assumed the office of the President of the European People's Party on 1 December 2019, a day after leaving office as President of the European Council.