New President for the EU

Antonio Tajani becomes the new President of the European Parliament

On Tuesday, the seventeenth of January, Antonio Tajani, sixty-three, was elected President of the European Parliament. The candidate of the coalition between the European People’s Party (EPP) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), a former European commissioner and spokesman of the Italian government under PM Silvio Berlusconi, received three hundred and fifty-one votes, while his opponent, the social-democrat Gianni Patella secured two hundred and eighty-two.

An important element which enabled Tajani to win the position was ALDE leader and former Belgian PM Guy Verhofstadt’s withdrawal from the race. According to The New York Times, Verhofstadt agreed to support the EPP candidate Tajani in order to prevent the fragmentation of the European Parliament, which would make the institution more vulnerable to anti-European parties.


The EP presidential term is two and a half years long. Among the challenges which will be faced by Tajani are consolidating the identity of the European Union and negotiating the Brexit deal. Antonio Tajani will take over from Martin Schulz, who has announced that he would return to German politics.


English – German glossary:

to elect = wählen

press secretary = (hier) Pressesprecher

PM (Prime Minister) = Premierminister

to secure = erwerben

to enable = ermöglichen

withdrawal = Rückzug

to support = unterstützen

to prevent = vermeiden

fragmentation = Zersplitterung

vulnerable = gefährdet

(presidential) term = Amtszeit (des Präsidenten)

to consolidate = festigen

to negotiate = verhandeln

deal = Abkommen

to take over = (die Präsidentschaft) übernehmen

to announce = ankündigen

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