Donald Tusk Biography

Donald Franciszek Tusk, popularly known as Donald Tusk, is the current president of the ‘European Council.’ With a background in Polish politics, Tusk has been serving in this position since December 1, 2014. Prior to his role in the ‘European Council,’ he held the position of prime minister of Poland from 2007 to 2014. Tusk’s political career includes co-founding and chairing the political party ‘Civic Platform,’ as well as playing a significant role in political reforms and the formation of various political parties. Tusk’s passion for history and politics has been evident since his childhood, and he has been married to Malgorzata Sochacka since 1978, with whom he has two children.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Donald Franciszek Tusk
  • Age: 66 Years, 66 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Malgorzata Tusk (m. 1978)
    • Father: Donald Tusk
    • Mother: Ewa Tusk
    • Children: Katarzyna Tusk, Michał Tusk
  • Prime Ministers
  • Political Leaders
  • Height: 5’9″ (175 cm), 5’9″ Males
  • City: Gdańsk, Poland
  • Founder/Co-Founder: Liberal Democratic Congress, Civic Platform
  • More Facts
  • Education: University of Gdańsk
  • Awards: Charlemagne Prize, Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana 1st Class, Order of the Sun

Childhood & Early Life

Donald Tusk was born on April 22, 1957, in Gdańsk, Poland. His father, Donald Tusk, worked as a carpenter, and his mother, Ewa Tusk, was a nurse. His grandfather, Józef Tusk, was a railway official who was imprisoned at the ‘Neuengamme’ concentration camp. Tusk is of German and Kashubian descent. When Tusk was 14 years old, his father passed away. As a teenager, Tusk developed a fascination with politics and closely followed the clashes between striking workers and the riot police. He went on to study history at the University of Gdańsk, graduating in 1980. Tusk was an active participant in the ‘Student Committee of Solidarity,’ a group that opposed communist rule in Poland.

Career

Tusk began his career by establishing the ‘Independent Students’ Association’ in 1980, which was part of the ‘Solidarity’ movement. He also worked as a journalist for a newspaper published by the ‘Solidarity’ group. During the imposition of martial law in December 1981, Tusk went into hiding and worked as a bread-seller. From 1984 to 1989, he worked as a manual laborer specializing in climbing equipment. Despite his circumstances, Tusk remained an active member of the ‘Solidarity’ movement and even went to jail for his involvement. In 1983, he established an illegal monthly periodical called ‘Political Review,’ which focused on economic liberalism. This periodical led him to become the head of the ‘Liberal Democratic Congress.’ Tusk’s political career continued to flourish, and he became a Member of Parliament in the 1990s. He also published several bestselling books on Gdańsk and its history. In 2001, Tusk co-founded the political party ‘Civic Platform’ and became the deputy speaker of the parliament. In 2007, he became the prime minister of Poland after defeating the ruling rightist party. He served as prime minister for 7 years, making him the longest-serving prime minister in Polish history. In 2014, he was elected as the president of the ‘European Council’ and was re-elected for a second term in 2017.

Major Works

During his tenure as prime minister, Tusk implemented various constitutional reforms and made significant changes to domestic, foreign, and European policies. He aimed to streamline bureaucracy, continue free-market policies, establish a stable and long-term government, reduce taxes, and privatize state-owned establishments. However, his government did not cut taxes and instead raised the VAT and excise duty on various goods. Despite this, Tusk’s governance led to an increase in the number of people working in the public sector. He also worked to improve Poland’s relations with Germany and Russia, which had been strained during the previous government’s term.

Awards & Achievements

Tusk has received several awards and honors for his contributions to European politics. He was awarded the ‘Charlemagne Prize’ of Aachen in 2010 for his work towards the unification of Europe. He also received the ‘Economy Raspberry Award’ from the Polish newspaper ‘Puls Biznesu.’ In 2012, he was awarded the ‘Walther-Rathenau-Preis’ for his commitment to European integration during Poland’s presidency of the ‘EU Council.’ Angela Merkel referred to Tusk as a “farsighted European.” He has also received honorary doctorates from the University of Pecs in Hungary and TU Dortmund University in Germany.

Family & Personal Life

In 1978, Tusk married Małgorzata Sochacka, and they have two children together. Tusk has connections to the Kashubian minority and has compared their experiences as a minority to those of the Jewish community. While Tusk has been fluent in German during his presidency of the ‘European Council,’ he has faced criticism for his poor English and lack of knowledge of French. However, he has worked to improve his language skills and even delivered a speech in Romanian during the presidency of Romania in 2019.

Trivia

Donald Tusk belongs to the Kashubian community, an ethnic minority in Poland. They speak the Kashubian language, which is a Polish dialect. Tusk had to step down as prime minister of Poland when he was elected as the president of the ‘European Council’ in 2014. He holds the record for being the longest-serving prime minister in Polish history.

Leave a Comment