Last quote by Donald Tusk
Donald Tusk quotes
This is not a matter of legal or political nature, it is purely about emotions and obsessions. Therefore, it is not within my competence to comment on cases like this one.
I personally wish the UK hadn't chosen to leave the EU. But the majority of British voters decided otherwise. Therefore we must do everything we can to make sure the process of divorce is the least painful for the EU. Our main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit.
Priority must be certainty, clarity for all: citizens, companies & member states.
Within 48 hours of the UK triggering Article 50, I will present the draft Brexit guidelines to the EU 27 member states.
I want to be clear that a 'no deal' scenario would be bad for everyone, but above all for the UK, because it will leave a number of issues unresolved. We will not be intimidated by threats, and I can assure you, they simply will not work. Our goal is to have a smooth divorce, and a good framework for the future.
If anyone sees fascism in Rotterdam, they are completely detached from reality. We all show solidarity with the Netherlands.
The claims increasingly taking the form of threats that no agreement will be good for the UK and bad for the EU needs to be addressed. However, considering the interests of the community of 27 countries in the context of the upcoming Brexit negotiations... I will be urging everyone to strive toward maintaining political unity among the 27.
A no-deal scenario would be bad for everyone, but most of all for the U.K., because it would leave a number of issues unresolved.
On Brexit all 27 [EU countries] agreed that there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw from the EU… Access to the single market means acceptance of all four freedoms. No single market à la carte.
We are well prepared for all procedures and I have no doubts that we will be ready in 48 hours. I think it's a proper time to react.
I want to dedicate this saying to all member states, especially before our discussion on the future, before the Rome celebration (commemoration of 60th anniversary of Treaty of Rome) – but especially today to the Polish government of course.
I prepared my beloved quotation: 'Be careful of the bridges you burn because once they are gone you can never cross them again.
Too much has happened in the last month, in your country and in the EU, too many new and sometimes surprising opinions have been voiced in this time about our relations and our common security, for us to pretend that everything is as it used to be.
I heard words which are promising for the future, words which explain a lot about the new approach in Washington. Too many new and sometimes surprising opinions have been voiced over this time about our relations – and our common security – for us to pretend that everything is as it used to be. Both Europeans and Americans must simply practice what they preach.
The idea of NATO is not obsolete, just like the values which lie at its foundation are not obsolete.
We are counting, as always in the past, on the United States' wholehearted and unequivocal – let me repeat, unequivocal – support for the idea of a united Europe. The world would be a decidedly worse place if Europe were not united.
I heard words which are promising for the future, words which explain a lot about the new approach in Washington.
Both Europeans and Americans must simply practice what they preach.
Transatlantic cooperation remains and absolute priority because it has until now been a key pillar of the free world. At the same time we know that today we have no other option than to regain confidence in our own strength.
This is the only way to stop people dying in the desert and at sea. The only way to gain control over migration in Europe.
The disintegration of the European Union will not lead to the restoration of some mythical, full sovereignty of its member states, but to their real and factual dependence on the great superpowers: the United States, Russia and China. Only together can we be fully independent.
For the first time in our history, in an increasingly multi-polar external world, so many are becoming openly anti-European, or Eurosceptic at best. Particularly the change in Washington puts the European Union in a difficult situation, with the new administration seeming to put into question the last 70 years of American foreign policy.
Those who undermine the European model of democracy (and) attack the constitution and good customs, expose all of us to strategic risks. By throwing away the spirit of freedom and community, they write the next act of Poland's solitude.
Following yesterday's events in parliament and on the streets of Warsaw ... I appeal to those who have real power for respect and consideration of the people, constitutional principles and morals.
The Commission must be the leader in the negotiations process but we have also discussed the role of the European Parliament.
Faced with the brutality of the Syrian regime and its supporters, notably Russia and Iran, we are not as effective as we would like to be but we are not indifferent to the suffering of the Syrian people. We will exert pressure on other global players who are present in Syria using all available diplomatic channels.
Now the responsibility lies with the Netherlands. The ratification is important not only for Ukraine, but also for Europe's geopolitical standing and credibility.
This decision is a recognition of Ukraine's achievements in meeting European standards.
I would like to come and say, you are lying, the truth looks completely different.
I listened with attention to President-elect Trump's call for American unity. And I, in turn, would like to call for European and transatlantic unity. I do not believe that any country today can be great in isolation. But, I do believe that America and Europe can, should and will work together. It is in our common interest.
An EU-Canada summit with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be held this Sunday to sign the accord.
Only once all procedures are finalised for EU signing CETA, will I contact (Canadian) PM Justin Trudeau.
The summit tomorrow is still possible.
It may be our last free trade agreement.
There will be no negotiations before Article 50 is triggered by the UK. However, the basic principles, namely the single market and the indivisibility of the four freedoms, will remain our firm stance.
Given these examples, it is clear that Russia's strategy is to weaken the EU.
Leaders emphasised all sorts of Russian activities, from air-space violations, disinformation campaigns, cyber attacks, interference in the EU's political processes and beyond. Hybrid tools in the Balkans, to developments in the MH17 investigation. Given these examples, it is clear that Russia's strategy is to weaken the EU.
You can be sure she will be absolutely safe with us. I hope she will also realize that the EU is still the best company in the world.
The brutal truth is that Brexit will be a loss for all of us. There will be no cakes on the table. For anyone.
She declared that it is almost impossible to trigger Article 50 this year.
I'm absolutely sure that we have the same vision because what we need first of all in Europe today is good cooperation, solidarity and this political will to cooperate among member states. But at the same time we need very effective institutions and believe me, me and Jean-Claude Juncker we are like one fist.
I'm absolutely sure that, after Bratislava, we have to assure our citizens that we have learned the lesson from Brexit.
It's nothing controversial among the 27 leaders that our procedures our rules described very precisely in our Treaty are here to protect our interests, the 27 countries', not those of the leaving country.
It's absolutely clear that our procedures, our rules, described very precisely in our treaties, are to protect our interests, of the 27 countries, not the leaving country.
We can't start our discussion ... with this kind of blissful conviction that nothing is wrong, that everything was and is OK.
We must rectify a number of things in order to preserve what is best.
People in Europe want to know if the political elites are capable of restoring control over events and processes which overwhelm, disorientate, and sometimes terrify them.
Bratislava should therefore also provide a road map for other equally important endeavors (such as economic and social development, jobs and opportunities for the young, the single market, the digital agenda and investments).
Bringing back the feeling of security and order, the trust of EU citizens in their political leadership as well as rebuilding the reputation of the Union as a synonym of protection and stability, are all crucial and indispensable, but they are insufficient.
It is obvious that free trade and global competition lie in the interest of Europeans, but it is equally obvious that they pose significant and often unprecedented challenges.
Following Brexit, business as usual is not an option. We can either come out of this crisis weaker and conflicted, or stronger and more united.
Last year's chaos on our borders, new images every day of hundreds of thousands of people moving across our continent without any control, created a feeling of threat among many Europeans.
They had to wait too long for action to bring the situation under control (and) the lack of rapid action and of a uniform European strategy have weakened citizens' trust in their governments, the institutions and in the wider establishment, already undermined since the financial crisis. Rebuilding this trust has become an urgent necessity, which Brexit has demonstrated very clearly.
I think it is important that we make an honest assessment of the current situation to provide the best possible basis for building our future together.
While waiting for the U.K. government to trigger negotiations, we should diagnose the state and the prospects of a post-Brexit EU. It would be a fatal error to assume that the negative result in the U.K. referendum represents a specifically British issue.
I am absolutely sure that we have to assure here in Bratislava, and also after our meeting, our citizens that we have learned the lesson from Brexit and that we are able to bring back stability and a sense of security and effective protection.
Our goal to establish closest possible EU-UK relations.
People in Europe want to know if the political elites are capable of restoring control over events and processes which overwhelm, disorientate, and sometimes terrify them. Today many people, not only in the UK, think that being part of the European Union stands in the way of stability and security.
Our objective in the future negotiations should be, on the one hand, to establish the best possible relations with the UK; on the other hand, however, we should stick to the Treaty and be coolheaded, consistent, and fully united as well as firm in insisting on a balance of rights and obligations. If we do so, there will be no room for doubt that it is a good thing to be a member of the Union.
We need to protect the interests of the members of the EU that want to stay together, not the one which wants to leave.
It's a tragic paradox that the subject of this attack were people celebrating liberty, equality and fraternity. Today we all, Europe and Asia, stand united with the French people and their government. We condemn this tragedy and keep our fight against extreme violence and hatred.
No one should be seething with desire to punish, humiliate (the British) for what they have done to us. We cannot push them away from us, but we cannot let them profit from Brexit, as that would be lethal for the EU.
There is no freedom in Europe without trans-Atlantic solidarity. We are taking care of the unity of the Western political community, and that is key.
It is an historic moment for sure, this is not a moment for hysterical reactions. I want to reassure everyone that we are prepared also for this negative scenario. As you know the EU is not only a fair weather project.
Irregular migration was and is one of the principle reasons of this crisis of confidence in Europe.
Europe is ready to start the divorce process, even today.
First of all, we will discuss the so called 'divorce process' as described in Article 50 of the Treaty. And secondly, we will start a discussion on the future of the European Union with 27 Member States.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
Today history is knocking at our door. What is at stake, is the dilution of Europe which closes in on itself. Or the reaffirmation of its existence at the cost of profound change. I will do all I can to ensure it's profound change rather than withdrawal. And France has a particular responsibility because she's at the heart of Europe, because she built Europe and because she is the country which can lead others and which guarantees the future of our continent.
Until the UK formally leaves the EU, EU law will continue to apply to and within the UK and by this I mean rights as well as obligations. All the procedures for the withdrawal of the UK from the EU are clear and set out in the treaties.
British withdrawal "could in fact be the start of the process of destruction of not only the EU, but also of the Western political civilization.
Today on behalf of the 27 leaders, I can say that we are determined to keep our unity as 27. For all of us, the union is the framework for our common future.
Stay with us.
If we (G7) do not take the lead in managing this crisis, nobody would.
Such absurd arguments would be completely ignored if they had not been formulated by one of the most influential politicians of the governing party.
We have to avoid a situation of renewed uncertainty for Greece. Therefore we need a specific date for the new Eurogroup meeting in the not-distant future, and I am not talking about weeks but about days.
I am convinced that there is still more work to be done by the ministers of finance.
Today Turkey is the best example in the entire world of how to treat refugees. I am proud that we are partners. There is no other way.
The Turkish proposal worked out together with Germany and the Netherlands still needs to be rebalanced so as to be accepted by all 28 member states and EU institutions.
We agreed that all irregular migrants coming from Turkey into Greek islands from Sunday March 20 will be returned to Turkey. The implementation will be phased in gradually and based on the so-called one-for-one principle.
I want to appeal to all potential illegal economic migrants, wherever you are from: Do not come to Europe. Do not risk your lives and your money. It is all for nothing. Greece, or any other European country, will no longer be a transit country.
The number of migrants arriving in Greece is on the rise not because they want to make Greece their home, but because they are hoping that from Greece they will move to other European countries.
For now I can only say that we have made some progress but a lot still remains to be done.
We must first avoid a battle among plans A, B and C. It makes no sense at all, as it creates divisions within the European Union.
This is a make or break summit, I have no doubt.
There will not be a better time for a compromise. It is our unity that gives us strength and we must not lose this. It would be a defeat both for the UK and the European Union, but a geopolitical victory for those who seek to divide us.
The people of Slovakia, Poland, Belgium, all of Europe expect that the EU, after Bratislava, will again be a guarantee of stability, security and protection – protection in the widest meaning, including social and economic protection.
We have no more than two months to get things under control.
The March European Council will be the last moment to see if our strategy works. If it doesn't, we will face grave consequences such as the collapse of Schengen.
What's of key importance for Poland is to maintain it's very good reputation, a reputation it has worked on for 25 years.
But Europe cannot remain vulnerable, when Schengen states are not able to effectively protect their borders.
Only if we full cooperate on exchange of information about suspicious transactions will be able to stop this threat effectively.
Saving Schengen is a race against time. And we are determined to win that race.
It is clear that the greatest tide of refugees and migrants is yet to come. Therefore we need to correct the policy of open doors and windows. Now the focus should be on the proper protection of our external borders and on external assistance to refugees and the countries in our neighbourhood.
The most urgent question we should ask ourselves tonight is how to regain control of our external borders. Otherwise it does not make any sense to even speak about a common migration policy.
The fair distribution of at least 100,000 refugees among the EU states is what we in fact need today. If leaders do not demonstrate good will, solidarity will become an empty slogan.
I'm convinced that we come to a final agreement in the course of this week, for the simple reason that we have to find an agreement this week. We cannot play, as they say on the football fields, we cannot play a prolongation.
The game of chicken needs to end and so does the blame game.
We are close to the point where the Greek government will have to choose between accepting what I believe is a good offer of continued support or to head towards default. At the end of the day this is and can only be a Greek decision and a Greek responsibility. There is still time, but only a few days. Let us use them wisely.
Europe has to manage its borders better. We expect Turkey to do the same. The situation where hundreds of thousands are fleeing to the European Union from Turkey must be stopped.
I do not expect any quick fix solution to the root causes of the migration. Because there are non. Had they existed, we would have used the long ago. But I do expect that the Commission and the European External Action Service will present options for immediate action.
The Energy Union is a necessity because Europe spends 400 billion euros on it per year, which is more than one billion euros per day. It's obvious that we have to put an end to the total dependence on other countries.
We have reasons to believe, according to information I have received in the last few hours, that the threat of direct Russian intervention is certainly greater than it was a few days ago.
There won't be consequences for ministers whose only error was vulgar language in a confidential discussion. Reacting to that would hollow out all political life not only in Poland but in the whole world.
I will not make political decisions based on the material available so far. I'm focusing on clarifying this case and on providing stability of the state.
Both its government and its opposition need to find a common standpoint, to solve the conflict and to retreat from any dramatic scenario.
Better spending must not be understood to mean no money at all. We are in favour of a balanced approach to potential cuts in the budget. Such cuts should be applied in a balanced manner throughout all European policies.
It is totally unacceptable that the leader of the opposition, using false information in the press, is, in fact, devastating public life in Poland and the Polish state.
I don't think that these international treaties can be greeted with delight by those who have become used to certain internet practices, which aren't legal under Polish law.
Leadership cannot be controlled by one or two countries, even the strongest ones. It has to be based on the European institutions. If we are unable to do this then future generations will not only curse this crisis but curse us as well.
I've heard the self-satisfied comments which say Britain has become an island again, and that the Channel has become larger over the last few days. Sincerely, I don't understand this satisfaction.
As of 2013 we will gradually raise the retirement age to 67 and bring the retirement age for women in line with that for men. We will try to do it softly but it will be painful I am afraid.
In the report, you will find conclusions which are missing in the Russian report. It points out the mistakes and the faults at Smolensk airport and also with the Russian flight controllers work.
This debate about Schengen is a crucial illustration of the dilemma that Europe currently faces.
I'd like to say that from our point of view, defending the fundamental rights of Europeans, such as free movement across borders, is our paramount duty.
We, in Poland will do what we have to do in our march towards the euro zone. I think that moods are moods, but there are concrete criteria….
The European Union is not only useful during easy times, it has to prove itself useful in difficult times too and this is the first task of the Polish presidency, to strengthen faith in Europe to match Polish faith.
I would not differentiate between the duties of, for example, the Germans and the Greeks. We all have the same duty, which is not to waste public money, as they already have in some southern member states, and also not to resent the European Union, because in the common market of the EU the rich countries make big profits.
The flooding here in Sandomierz is getting worse and worse. Part of the dam has broken. Once again thousands of people are exposed to high water. Our plans to dry the area and rebuild homes must be delayed.
We are determined to do all in our capacity for the values we share. This is why we have taken up a common effort so that our convictions can materialise.
We hope that the new strategy announced by President Obama will bring the expected effects: it will mean peace and reconstruction for Afghanistan.
The authorities want to help the victims. The most important task is to secure provisional shelter for those people. We've also set up a bank account to collect donations for the victims.
We should do everything possible so that no human activity would break the symbiosis between Man and Nature. Currently, we are all concerned with the global financial crisis, but we should keep in mind that financial crises come and go while the environment should be a constant value we all care for.
I have no doubt that the ratification is in Poland's best interest. I think that the President, as a co-author of that treaty, would agree that it is in Poland's and the Union's best interest.
Dear people, we have fought, we have won but starting from tomorrow we are going to work because Poland needs our work.
We stood so that everybody, without exception, could feel comfortable in their homes, in their country. Those seeking happiness and satisfaction outside of Poland can believe that one day they can return home and that in this house, order will reign.
For many, many weeks we have convinced Poles that life in Poland may be much better, that Poles deserve a decent and good government. That Poles deserve a better life.
We've been stopped. In fact, we stopped ourselves, because we may've been able to stay in power if we'd broken with our principles. This could've been easy, maybe I will write about it some day. But we didn't break the rules and we are not sorry about it. Because you should never break with principles.