Poland's Kaczynski says European Union dominated by Germany

Ahead of an European Union leaders' summit, current Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said Warsaw did not want Tusk because he had criticized Polish government policies.

Szydlo did not clarify how she would cooperate with Tusk in the future, but said she would also participate in Friday's informal meetings regarding the Rome summit on the future of Europe. What some consider the ruling party's efforts to undermine rule of law by taking over the constitutional court have been debated extensively in Brussels, though without impact in Poland.

Thursday's others talks should see agreement on pressing ahead with new free trade pacts despite "protectionist tendencies" elsewhere - a reference to European concerns about new U.S. President Donald Trump.

Poland appears to have won no support, but the other leaders will still be keen to avoid a public bust-up with the EU's biggest post-communist state just weeks before the bloc enters its seventh decade.

Warsaw argued that the decision should be delayed.

"Attending a cultural event at the time, Tusk said, "I appeal to those who hold real power in our country to respect the people, the principles and values of the constitution, the standing procedures and good practices", claiming that PiS was undermining the “European model of democracy".

The president of the European Council will now serve for another 30 months.

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"There is an overwhelming support for President Tusk's re-election", Joseph Muscat told reporters.

Warsaw last week proposed a member of the European Parliament, Jacek Saryusz-Wolski, to replace him.

Szydlo noted the broad support that Tusk enjoys from European Union leaders, writing that, "The pronounced support of such actions (the stand-off) on behalf of an EC president was unheard of".

Centrist former Polish premier Tusk has broad support among the leaders for a second mandate until 2020 for his handling of crises including migration and Greek debt.

"I am not the one responsible (for the) clashes", Tusk said on the eve of the summit in Brussels.

But the enmity between Tusk and Kaczynski, who once fought together to bring Communism down in Poland, goes back years.

  • Toni Ryan