EU Picks Mogherini as New Foreign Policy Chief, Tusk as President

Politics | August 30, 2014, Saturday // 22:47
Bulgaria: EU Picks Mogherini as New Foreign Policy Chief, Tusk as President File photo

Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini was appointed on Saturday as the European Union’s new foreign policy chief.

European leaders also chose Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as the new President of the European Council, the current President Herman Van Rompuy announced in tweets at the EU summit in Brussels.

Tusk, a centre-right politician who has been Polish leader since 2007, has urged tough response to Moscow for Russia's actions in the crisis in Ukraine.

Mogherini, a centre-left politician who has been Italy's Foreign Minister since February,  has been criticized by some EU eastern European members, including Lithuania, Latvia and Poland, for her perceived soft attitude towards Russia and lack of experience.

She will replace the UK's Catherine Ashton as EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Tusk, 57 and Mogherini,41 will work closely with the new European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker who will formally nominate the members of the new Commission next month.

EU member states and the European Parliament must then approve the nominations, with the new Commission due to take office November 1.

Balancing geography and political party affiliation was a prime consideration in the appointments, Bloomberg commented in its coverage of the choice of Mogherini and Tusk, who are a socialist from southern Europe and a conservative from eastern Europe, respectively.

According to Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, the two will form a ‘dynamic duo’.

"The appointments of Tusk and Mogherini balance the interests of left- and right-wing factions across the bloc, eastern and western states, northern Europe and the south, as well as satisfying some pressure for more women in senior EU roles, Reuters commented in its coverage of the news.

Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response in the outgoing EU executive body and a nominee for the post of EU foreign policy chief, congratulated Tusk and Mogherini.

“Looking forward to working together for a stronger Europe,” Georgieva wrote in Twitter.

Even though Georgieva wasn’t appointed as EU foreign policy chief, she has a great chance to be allocated a key post in the new European Commission. Having Jean-Claude Juncker’s support, she is very likely to become the Commission’s next Vice President, Bulgarian media outlet opined.

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Tags: President of the European Council, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Van Rompuy, Tusk, Mogherini, EU Summit, Kristalina Georgieva
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