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EU chief sometimes “furious” about Brexit

Posted April 11, 2018

(opens in a new window)European Council President, Donald Tusk has been awarded Honorary Life Membership of the (opens in a new window)UCD Law Society.

On receiving the honour at University College Dublin, Tusk admitted to the audience that he could be considered “oversensitive” to the threat of European disunion.

The EU leader said he sees Brexit as “one of the saddest moments in twenty-first-century European history”. Sometimes, he even feels “furious” about it, he declared.

He said that while, as a generation which united Europe, we have “many reasons to be satisfied”, we also have “as many reasons for concern”.

We could still “make it to the gloomy and for sure the spectacular show of another European disunion,” he said.

In addition to the uncertain impact of the UK’s departure from the European Union, Tusk described how the strength of the economic and political union was being tested by migration issues and divisive politics in member states.

Pictured in tweet and front: European Council President, Donald Tusk and UCD Law Society Auditor, Laura Hogan

He later acknowledged that according to surveys “the Irish are amongst the happiest people in Europe and the most optimistic about their future in the European Union”.

“You are a young nation, with the Union’s highest birth rate and for several years now, one of its fastest-growing economies. You have managed to combine fidelity with the past with a freedom from old anxieties,” said Tusk.

“You became a country of immigration for the first time, receiving more people proportionately than the UK, yet no-one ever hears of any problems on this issue from Ireland.”

“You are even moving on from the modern clichés of being the small, brave country that resolved its ancient quarrels and became a successful harnesser of globalisation,” he added.

By: Dominic Martella and Jonny Baxter