New eu summit chief tusk to stand up to putin

Liberal-conservative tusk will move to brussel to head meetings of heads of state and government from december, the eu special summit in brussel decided. Italian minister federica mogherini (41) is to become the new eu eavesdropping envoy.

Poland and the baltic states are taking a hard line against russian president vladimir putin in the ukraine crisis. They are calling for a massive deployment of nato troops to their region, which was under moscow's control during the cold war.

German chancellor angela merkel spoke of "rough agreement" on the two top issues, which had long been disputed beforehand. She buried the appointment of tusk, who is considered her confidant. He is a "passionate, convinced and convincing european," she said on saturday on the sidelines of the leaders' meeting.

The president of poland bronislaw komorowski buried in warsaw a "gigantic success" for his country. "This means not only a tremendous recognition of poland's position, but also an increase in poland's opportunities."

Tusk, who has been in power in poland since 2007, sees a common EU line in the ukraine crisis as his most urgent task. This remains an extremely difficult task, as there are clear differences of opinion among the member states.

While the former soviet republic of lithuania is calling for arms deliveries to ukraine, merkel explicitly rejects such aid for the crisis-ridden country. The EU also wants to tighten its economic sanctions against moscow. This, too, was likely to give rise to new controversy, as it threatens to have a significant impact on the european economy.

The summit decided to decide within a week on further economic sanctions against russia. "Everyone is fully aware that we need to act quickly," van rompuy said.

EU has already imposed economic sanctions. At the end of july, she made it more difficult for russian banks to access EU financial markets and banned certain high-tech exports. The areas of the existing sanctions are to remain unchanged. Chancellor merkel mentioned financial sanctions as well as the energy sector.

The west accuses russia of sending regular troops into ukraine. "It is totally unacceptable that russian soldiers are on ukrainian soil," british prime minister david cameron said.

In his new post, tusk is responsible for preparing the content and chairing the EU summits – the main task is to forge compromises between the 28 EU leaders. The mandate runs for two and a half years and can be extended. The pole will also preside over eurozone summits, although his country has so far failed to meet community standards.

Tusk explicitly aims to keep great britain in the EU. "The future does not consist in making them smaller."Cameron had already spoken out in favor of tusk before the summit. The prime minister wants the british to vote in 2017 on remaining in the eu.

Six weeks ago, a first attempt to reach an agreement on filling the two posts failed. Social democrat mogherini has been criticized as inexperienced, having only been in office in rome since february. Eastern european politicians also consider her too russia-friendly. In the case of tusk, a lack of english language skills was initially a major hurdle. "I will polish up my english," he promised.

With the summit decision, the new commission of the conservative luxembourger jean-claude juncker (59) is also taking shape. Mogherini lost to the 1. November the previous "chief diplomat" catherine ashton departs. The italian also becomes juncker's deputy in the commission. However, this still has to be confirmed by the EU parliament – in the context of a vote on the entire new commission.

The filling of the other posts in the commission is still open. The european parliament complains that the capitals do not want to send enough women to the top body and threatens to block the new commission if necessary.

The spanish luis de guindos (54) is to become the new head of the eurogroup according to the wishes of germany and other euro countries. "Looking to the future after mid-2015, i note that chancellor mrs. Merkel sees mr. De guindos as suitable for this post. And i have been informed that other eurozone countries also share this view," council chief herman van rompuy says. The mandate of incumbent jeroen dijsselbloem expires in the middle of next year.