President Klaus Iohannis on Thursday presented EPP President Donald Tusk with the National Order of the Star of Romania in the rank of Grand Cross, in a ceremony organized at Romania’s Permanent Representation to the EU.
“Last year I signed the decree conferring Mr. Donald Tusk the highest distinction of the Romanian state – the Order of the Star of Romania in the rank of Grand Cross, for his exceptional contribution in support of Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Donald Tusk is a longtime friend of Romania’s and a true European. We all remember his inspiring speeches in Romanian at the beginning of Romania’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union, at the Romanian Athenaeum, and at the Sibiu Summit on May 9, 2019, but also his close affinities with Romania and with many cultural or daily-life symbols that deeply resonate with the Romanian people. Donald Tusk is one of the most Euro-enthusiastic European personalities of our times, he has played an important role in further consolidating the Union, in making it matter globally, in ensuring that all our nations come together,” said Iohannis.
He also stressed that in his capacity as President of the European Council, Donald Tusk has provided significant support to the actions carried out by the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, contributing to their success.
“Donald Tusk brought his defining contribution to what we are proud to call today ‘the spirit of Sibiu’. The informal Summit organized in Romania and chaired by Donald Tusk sent a strong message of unity across Europe, of commitment towards further building our common path and of confidence in the European Union’s future,” President Iohannis continued.
He went on to point out that Donald Tusk had a close relationship with Romania also in the period 2007 – 2014, when he served as Poland’s Prime Minister.
“As President of the European Council, Donald Tusk navigated with wisdom in rough waters and managed to ensure that the Union remained strong and coherent even in difficult times, an expression of his commitment to the European ideal,” Iohannis added, underscoring that Tusk is not only an active supporter of the European project, but also a friend and partner of Romania and of the Romanian people.
“I am deeply moved by your decision to award me this honorable distinction. (…) I am deeply impressed primarily as a Pole, because, as you mentioned, I have always been fascinated by Romania’s culture and history, (. ..) but also as a European, not only as a Pole, a European who admires consistency and determination in your fight for independence, the rule of law and European unity, and thirdly as a friend of one of the greatest contemporary politicians, as yourself, Mr President. I am proud to receive this award”, said the EPP President as he accepted the decoration.
Several EPP MEPs and European Commissioner Adina Valean also attended the ceremony, Agerpres correspondent in Brussels reports.