Former Polish prime minister Donald Tusk took over the presidency of the European Council on Monday, succeeding Belgium’s Herman Van Rompuy.
The 57-year-old takes up the role at a challenging time for the European Union, which faces numerous economic and geopolitical challenges.
Tusk, who has built up good relationships with Germany’s Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron, said he will make boosting Europe’s sluggish growth a key priority during his tenure.
He will have to coordinate between all EU governments over the next five years, but also represent the bloc abroad at major international events.
The football-loving historian served as his country’s premier for nearly seven years, resigning in September.