None of the top EU posts was attributed to a politician from Eastern Europe. Sassoli’s election was rather unexpected as the EU leaders had pushed the idea of Bulgarian Socialist MEP Sergei Stanishev as president of the European parliament.
STRASBOURG —An Italian Socialist has been elected president of the 751-member European parliament on Wednescday.
David-Maria Sassoli got 345 votes in the second round of balloting against 160 votes for Conservative Jan Zahradil and 119 for Green Ska Keller 119.
Sassoli will serve for two and a half years — half the parliamentary term — before passing the torch to Manfred Weber, a a member of the center-right European People’s Party, the largest in the European Parliament, for the rest of the mandate.
In his remarks to MEPs before the vote, Sassoli — who as a former TV journalist has a profile in Italy but is not well known outside the country — said he had decided to run because
“Europe will be stronger only with a Parliament which plays a more important role,’’ Sassoli said. calling on the European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission to “respond with more courage to the requests of European citizens.
He added : “In these months, too many people have fuelled divisions and conflicts that we thought were a sad reminder of our history. Instead, the citizens have shown that they still believe in this extraordinary path, the only one capable of providing answers to the global challenges before us”.
A former TV journalist, David Sassoli, 63, is a member of Italy’s center-left Democratic Party which is the second largest delegation within the Alliance of Socialists and Democrats group (S&D) in the European Parliament.
He is an Italian MEP since 2009 and was re-elected during the European elections in May for a third term.
The Parliament is expected to will elect 14 vice presidents on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the other top EU posts were agred by the European Council, the gathering of the member states leaders : German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen was nominated as president of the European Commission, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel was named president of the Eu Council, Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell as EU foreign affairs chief and IMF chief Christine Lagarde as head of the European Central Bank.
None of the posts was attributed to a politician from Eastern Europe. Sassoli’s election was rather unexpected as the EU leaders had pushed the idea of Bulgarian Socialist MEP Sergei Stanishev as president of the European parliament.