European Parliament Presidential election: Antonio Tajani at the helm
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    European Parliament Presidential election: Antonio Tajani at the helm

    © Belga
    It will now fall to Antonio Tajani to help steer the European ship into calmer waters.
    © Belga

    Antonio Tajani (European People’s Party or EPP, the Right/Centre Right candidate) was elected President of the European Parliament yesterday evening during the fourth and final round of the elections. This was announced by the chamber’s outgoing President, Martin Schulz.

    Mr Tajani scooped a total of 351 votes against 282 for his competing candidate Gianni Pittella (of the Socialists and Democrats, the Left grouping).

    The EPP candidate, aged 63, was in all liklihood able to take advantage of the transfer of the majority of votes from the Liberal MEPs of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe and the Conservatives of the ECR (The European Conservatives and Reformists grouping).

    Despite the agreement concluded between the EPP and the ALDE, Antonio Tajani failed to gain an absolute majority in the first three rounds. His fourth round opponent was therefore Mr Pitella, with only a simple majority needed to win.

    Mr Tajani is, in particular, committed to being a “neutral [President], serving all Europeans and focusing upon what matters: security, migration and jobs.”

    With the election of Antonio Tajani, the EPP group now leads the three main European institutions, with Donald Tusk at the European Council and Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Commission.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times