The otherwise dull formal procedure of the prolongation of the mandate to the EU Council president Donald Tusk turned into suspense when his own compatriots fiercely opposed his appointment. A week before the EU Summit Polish government declared MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski as a candidate for the post. “Jacek Saryusz-Wolski represents a high level of professionalism and provides a pledge and guarantee of impartiality,” – Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said. Previously Jarosław Kaczyński, the influential leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, said that Poland would object Tusk’s candidacy: “He is in favour of solutions that are extremely harmful to Poland,” – Kaczyński insisted.
The EPP party immediately evicted Saryusz-Wolski to deprive him of the formal grounds to claim the position, however the move does not solve the conflict with the Polish government and the leading politician – Jarosław Kaczyński, who vowed to prevent Tusk from getting the second mandate.
Although it would be difficult for win the case legally, politically Jarosław Kaczyński has already won, as it would be unthinkable for the EU to insist on ignoring of Polish interest.
The word of Enda Kenny appointment for the post started to circulate in Brussels already during the weekend, when an alternative candidacy for the post or the Council president occurred. According to unnamed diplomatic sources Tusk would not accept the position in case of opposition of his compatriots to avoid further divide in the EU, suffering multiple crisis.
Enda Kenny, also from EPP party, can be a compromise figure to resolve the conflict between the Polish government and the Brussels over Tusk. The first time Kenny’s candidacy for EU Council president came to pubic eye in 2014.