Poland's Tusk named most powerful person in Europe as better relations with Ukraine loom
Donald Tusk (Photo: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET)

The leader of the Polish coalition that won the parliamentary elections, Donald Tusk, topped the list of the most influential people in Europe according to Politico.

The rating says that after eight years of rule in Poland by the Law and Justice party led by Tusk's long-time rival Jarosław Kaczyński, "the wind of change is blowing once more."

"It’s a sliver of hope for centrists across the Continent, who have watched in despair as populist forces moved from the fringes and into government," comments Politico.

The victory of Tusk, who is expected to become the new prime minister of Poland, should improve Warsaw's relations with the European Union, Germany and France, with which the Polish executive led by Mateusz Morawiecki was actively engaged in confrontation.

"The prospect of a Tusk-led Poland would see Kyiv breathing a sigh of relief. While Warsaw has strongly backed Ukraine over the past two years of war, in recent months tensions have boiled over over Ukraine’s agricultural exports. Tusk, a longtime Russia hawk, has called for unwavering support for Kyiv," the article notes.

At the same time, journalists draw attention to the fact that Tusk will not be able to immediately change Poland, since the PiS party has been able to significantly strengthen during eight years in power, and the current president, Andrzej Duda, is an ally of Kaczyński.

Earlier, Tusk accused the Polish government led by Morawiecki of inaction due to the situation with blocking the border with Ukraine.

On October 15, 2023, regular elections were held in Poland to both chambers of the Parliament – the Sejm and the Senat.

On October 16, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced a "fantastic turnout" at the election and added that "there were people who waited for hours to vote."

President Duda witnessed the swearing in of Prime Minister Morawiecki's new government. According to most members of the Sejm (lower house of parliament), the government is expected to serve only briefly, with work projected to wrap up within a fortnight.