Italian Social Democrat MEP David Sassoli was elected President of the European Parliament on Wednesday (3 July) for a two-and-a-half year term. Th 63-year-old won 345 votes in the second round out of 667 voters, and therefore the absolute majority of the votes cast by MEPs in Strasbourg by secret ballot.
The new president is a former journalist who became an MEP in 2009. His election means that the leadership of the European Parliament will swing back under the control of the Social Democrats, after being led by the centre-right EPP, under his compatriot Antonio Tajani, since January 2017.
In a brief address to the Parliament immediately after the vote, Sassoli thanked the MEPs for their confidence in him. “In these months, too many people have fuelled divisions and conflicts that we thought were a sad reminder of our history. Instead, the citizens have shown that they still believe in this extraordinary path, the only one capable of providing answers to the global challenges before us”.
“We must have the strength to relaunch our integration process, changing our Union so to be able to respond more strongly to the needs of our citizens and give real answers to their concerns, to their increasingly widespread sense of loss.
David Sassoli was born on May 30, 1956 in Florence, Tuscany, and after studying political science, he began working at small newspapers and news agencies. He was hired by the Italian national broadcaster RAI in 1992, where he later became a news anchor.
In 2009, he was elected to the European Parliament as a candidate for the newly created centre-left Democratic Party.