The Italian conservative Antonio Tajani on 17 January 2017 was elected as the President of the European Parliament. To be elected for the post, Tajani defeated another Italian Gianni Pitella with 71 votes. Tajani secured 351 votes, against 282 for Pittella, a socialist. The contest ran to the maximum four rounds.
With this election, Tajani succeeds Germany's Martin Schulz. In November Schulz announced that he would return to German politics.
• He is a former spokesman for Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner.
• Tajani, 63, is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political group of the Parliament. EPP is a party with 217 members from 27 nations.
• He was appointed to the European Parliament a decade ago and had served two terms there between 2008 and 2014.
• During his tenure at the parliament, he handled the portfolio of transport sector as well as the industry and entrepreneurship,
• Earlier, he had worked with the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The European Parliament is the parliament of the European Union (EU) with three places of work namely Brussels (Belgium), the city of Luxembourg (Luxembourg) and Strasbourg (France).
Earlier known as the European Parliamentary Assembly or Common Assembly, the parliament is the only directly elected body among the member countries of European Union.
Members of the parliament are elected by EU citizens once every five years. Together with the Council of Ministers, it is the law-making branch of the institutions of the Union.