Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will be the next President of the European Council. He takes over from Herman van Rompuy, who made the announcement at a news conference in Brussels.
Tusk, who does not speak French or English very well, said he will be brushing up on his language skills.
“Nothing is good enough for Europe, including my English today – but, i will polish my English. and as i mentioned, I will be ready in December, 100 percent, don’t worry“said Tusk.
Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini will replace Baroness Cathy Ashton as the EU’s High Representative of Foreign Affairs.
Speaking about the Russia-Ukraine crisis, Mogherini said: “We all know that the military way is not the solution to the crisis, for the benefit of the Ukrainians first. And so, as we think and we work on the level of sanctions, we also have to keep the diplomatic way open – and that’s our job, to do both.”
Tusk beat his more high profile rival, Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, who had at one time been the favourite.
From the European Council in Brussels, euronews correspondent Margherita Sforza explained the picks for the two top jobs: “By choosing Mogherini and Tusk, European leaders have pulled together the diplomacy of southern and eastern Europe, expectations of the new generation and political experience. It’s a strong signal at a time when Europe is dealing with the instability in Ukraine and the violence in the Middle East.”