Italian Antonio Tajani of the centre-right EPP is elected as the new President of the European Parliament.
He replaced outgoing president Martin Schulz, during the parliament’s mid-term elections. Mr Tajani received 351 votes in the secret ballot. His competitor – Italian Gianni Pittella of the socialist S&D received 282 votes. No candidate won the required absolute majority of valid votes cast in the first three rounds of voting in Parliament’s presidential election on Tuesday. Mr. Tajani – formerly one of the fourteen vice-presidents of the European Parliament – was the frontrunner to win the election, following the drop out of Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt.
Mr Tajani who was a spokesman for former Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi was also the European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship from 2010 to 2014. Mr Tajani is viewed to be friendly towards the automotive industry. In 2012 Tajani presented the Action Plan CARS2020. The plan focused on a transition towards more energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, as well as technologies and advanced materials by the year 2020.
In his new role as president, Mr Tajani will oversee plenary sessions of the European Parliament and rule on points of order. The post holder also represents the assembly to heads of state and government.