Donald Tusk, the former president of the European Council, has attended the awarding ceremony of Coudenhove-Kalergi prize handed to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at Cotroceni Palace in Bucharest on Wednesday.
In his speech, Tusk praised Klaus Iohannis, stating that the Romanian head of state is “an exceptional politician who found the key to the Romanians’ heart”, while also revealing that he had extended to him the invitation to take his place at the European Council’s helm, but Iohannis refused, arguing he wants to run for a second president mandate in Romania.
“I talked to President Iohannis almost a year ago about who should take over the helm of the European institutions. The discussion was frank and sincere just between the two of us. I told them that I strongly believe he would be an extraordinary president of the European Council. Klaus smiled to me cordially, thanked me for my proposition and told me after a while: <Donald, I still have things to do in Romania, so, please, do not take my candidature into consideration. Do you remember when I showed you the photo of the protests in Bucharest and other cities? Thousands of young Romanians believe what I believe: that politics must not be dirty and that people in leadership positions can be honest and that the law must be law and that Europe is not just a geographical concept, but, beyond all, is a concept of values. I will not abandon it.>”, Donald Tusk disclosed