MEPs elected David Sassoli as President of the European Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, having won 345 out of 667 valid votes in the second round.

David Sassoli was born in Florence on 30 May 1956. As an Italian MEP since 2009, he was re-elected on a Partito Democratico list in Central Italy in May 2019 for a third term. He will lead Parliament until January 2022.

In a brief address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg immediately after the vote, President Sassoli thanked the 9th legislature 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,” he said.

“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,” the EP President added.

David Sassoli also underlined the priorities that the Parliament will have to pursue in the coming years: “We are immersed in momentous transformations: youth unemployment, migration, climate change, the digital revolution, the new world balance, just to name a few, which need new ideas and courage”.

“The election of David Sassoli is very good news for our political family, for the Parliament and for the EU as a whole. He has a long experience in this house, where he was first elected in 2009 and he has been a vice-president during the last term. He will defend the central role and the autonomy of this Parliament, which represents European citizens. They expect us to build a stronger and better Union. David Sassoli can count on the full collaboration of our group to bring back hope to the European project and to build a Union that is closer to people’s problems and concerns,” said the leader of the S&D Group Iratxe García.

“Coming from a country that is struggling with forces that try to undermine European solidarity, he is well placed to bring together the pro-European forces in this house to fight the extreme right and the populists. In the next five years we must strengthen both our European democracy and our European values based on the rule of law, fundamental rights, equality and solidarity. In addition, the Parliament must lead the way for the European Union in the coming years, giving a clear political direction to the European Commission for a more progressive, sustainable and fair Europe. It will also be responsible for pushing for the important reforms that the EU must urgently accomplish, including the ecological transformation, the reform of the economic governance and a proper migration policy,” the S&D Group President added.