Social democrat Schulz elected President of the European Parliament (18/01/2012)
On Tuesday, 17 January, MEPs elected Martin Schulz to be the new President of the European Parliament. He received 387 MEPs’ votes in favour, which constitutes an absolute majority. Schulz is a German MEP, a member of the Group of Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats.
In his acceptance speech, Martin Schulz noted that he is not going to be “an amenable President”, but “a President who will do everything in his power to win back lost public trust in the European integration process and restore public enthusiasm for Europe”.
He emphasized that the European Parliament is “the place where the interests of the people are defended”, and the MEPs are “the representatives of ordinary Europeans”.
“These are turbulent times in the history of Europe”, Schulz said, adding that “as a result of the economic crisis, in many countries poverty is on the increase and unemployment has reached disastrous levels”.
According to him, only a profoundly democratic Union can provide the answer on the numerous challenges the EU is facing. “Post-war Europe is founded on a sober acknowledgement of the fact that our interests can no longer be separated from those of our neighbors”, newly elected President stressed.
In the end of his speech, Schulz added that he intends to carry out the office of the EP’s President “in such a way that those who voted for me today can take pride in having done so, and those who did not vote for me today are pleasantly surprised”.
Martin Schulz replaced Jerzy Buzek (European People’s Party; Poland), who has been carrying out the office of the EP’s President for 2,5 years. The new President will hold his position until the elections in 2014.