Donald Tusk's speech drew a standing ovation during the official opening ceremony
The President of the European Council Donald Tusk chose a verse by one of Bulgaria's greatest poets, dedicated to the love for the fatherland, to start his speech during the official opening ceremony for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU. Tusk gave his speech in Bulgarian, which brought to their feet the Bulgarian and EU political elite in attendance during the event held on 11 January at the National Theatre in Sofia. “As a Pole, I understand well how much work, courage and determination it cost you, Bulgarians, to achieve European success for your fatherland. No one gave you anything for free,” he said. “We would all like it if the present and future of the Balkans were less like dramatic screenplays.