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Donald Tusk, President of the European Council

In the spotlight

European Council, 20-21 October 2016

President Tusk chaired the European Council meeting on 20-21 October in Brussels. Leaders exchanged views on the most pressing issues. 

On Thursday they discussed migration and Russia, including its role in Syria.   

 "Leaders strongly condemned the attacks by the Syrian regime and its allies, notably Russia, on civilians in Aleppo," said President Tusk at the press conference following the meeting. "The EU is calling for an end to the atrocities and an immediate cessation of hostilities. It will consider all available options, if these atrocities continue," he added. 

On Friday the EU leaders met again to discuss trade issues. They called for further talks to solve remaining issues and agree on a provisional application of EU-Canada trade deal. 

"I remain concerned, for a good trade agreement with a close partner like Canada and for Europe's reputation. All member states but one endorsed the agreement," said President Tusk at the press conference following the meeting.

Earlier on Thursday, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico presented the state-of-play regarding the Bratislava Roadmap. It was the first chance to take stock of the results so far, including the Paris Agreement on climate and the launch of the European Border and Coast Guard. 

Over the dinner, British Prime Minister Theresa May provided a short update on Brexit and Prime Minister Rutte briefed the leaders on the situation in the Netherlands in regard to the referendum on the association agreement with Ukraine

Tripartite Social Summit, 19 October 2016

Before the European Council, on Wednesday 19 October, President Tusk co-chaired the Tripartite Social Summit, a forum for dialogue between the EU institutions and the European social partners (trade unions and employers).  

"I would like to thank the social partners for their engagement and our rich discussion, during which I felt quite a wide support for CETA," said President Tusk. "On the other hand, it is clear for me and our social partners that in the age of globalisation, people expect trade agreements like TTIP or CETA to be safe for workers, consumers and companies," he added.

As of  1 December 2014, Donald Tusk heads the European Council - the institution that sets the EU's political direction and priorities. He is responsible for preparing and chairing meetings of the institution. He also ensures the external representation of the EU's common foreign and security policy at his level.