Eurparl: rotation principle at stake

Strasbourg 14.09.2021 After summer holiday the European Parliament has started to consider if the principle of rotation of the Speaker remains relevant, or the incumbent Italian Socialist politician David Sassoli would stay for another two and a half years as the head of the institution.

Manfred Weber (EPP, Germany) has renounced taking over from Italian socialist David Sassoli, as had been negotiated after the 2019 elections. He is focused on his new ambition to ascend the presidency of the European People’s Party (EPP), the party. This sudden move opens a perspective for his political rival David Sassoli to follow the footsteps of another Socialist politician and the European Parliament speaker Martin Schulz, who was the only politician to serve two terms.

Martin Schulz MEP (Germany, S&D) led the Parliament until January 2017. He won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot. Mr Schulz was the first President in the history of the European Parliament to be re-elected for a second two and a half year term.

In a brief address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg immediately after the vote, Mr Schulz thanked for MEPs for their confidence in him. “It’s an extraordinary honour to be the first re-elected President of the European Parliament. I will take my duty very seriously, because we are heart of the European democracy, keeping the task of passing legislation and overseeing its enforcement. An overwhelming majority of this house drew the conclusion that the leading candidate in the European election should become the President of European Commission, therefore a German word, Spitzenkandidat, has entered into several other European languages”. However the system of electing of the European Commission president has failed, and unknown to the majority of the Europeans Ursula von der Leyen has been appointed in obscure procedures, and then endorsed by the MEPs.
During the press-conference in the European Parliament, Strasbourg, on September 14, the chair of the Socialists and Democrats group Iratxe Garcia-Perez declined to answer if the group is going to support the principle of rotation, but preferred to focus of the personality of the Speaker, phrasing David Sassoli for his excellence.

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