Donald Tusk

2 minute read
By Ursula von der Leyen

Donald Tusk has answered two questions that could not be more topical: How can we beat populists? How can we stop the erosion of democracy and the rule of law? As a young student, he became an activist in the underground Solidarnosc social movement. When the Iron Curtain collapsed, he became one of the first leaders of the young Polish democracy. Throughout his public service—as a party founder, as Prime Minister, and then as President of the European Council—Tusk has never stopped believing in the supremacy of democracy. After former fellow campaigners against the communist regime in Poland took over the country’s government in 2015 and began to undermine the rule of law and Poland’s ties with the European Union, he took on the challenge. In 2021, he once again became the leader of the party he had founded in 2001—and in 2023, he won back the government of his home country in a fair and democratic contest. Donald Tusk is a political marathon runner. He has taught us all that it is never too late and worth every effort to stand up for our democracy.

Von der Leyen is the European Commission President

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