The leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella, will run in the upcoming elections in Italy. He accepted a decision by the Partito Democatico.

“The next Italian elections will be a turning point for the future of Italy but also for the whole of Europe,” he said. “The Democratic Party remains the last bastion that can prevent Italy from falling to right-wing, populist and xenophobic movements.

“To win these important elections, Matteo Renzi and the Democratic Party have requested me to run as a candidate for the Senate. As an act of duty and responsibility towards my party, towards Italy and towards Europe, I have decided to accept this challenge,” he added.

According to Pittella, he will need to spend “time and energy” on the campaign trail in Italy. “However, I will not shy away from my duties as President of the S&D Group and in full cooperation with the S&D Vice-Presidents and Bureau, we will define how to manage the Group most efficiently in the upcoming weeks. Our battle for a more progressive Europe continues.”