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Home NATIONALRehn elected EU Parliament VP
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Wed, 02 Jul, 2014 12:10:41 AM
Schulz gets presidency again
FTimes-STT-Xinhua Report, July 2
 
 
Earlier in the day, Martin Schulz was re-elected president of the EU Parliament for another two and a half years’ term.
 
A total of 14 vice presidents were elected to the European Parliament out of 15 candidates. Finnish politician Rehn was elected in the third round of voting and becomes the first Finn to assume the position.
 
Sources at the European Parliament said six vice presidents were elected in the first ballot, three in the second and the remaining five by a relative majority in the third round of voting.
 
The vice presidents are entitled to chair the plenary sessions in absence of the president.
 
A vice president may also carry out administrative duties.
 
News agency Xinhua adds:  German Social Democrat Martin Schulz was re-elected the European Parliament (EP) president on Tuesday.
 
Schulz, 58, will lead the house until January 2017. He had previously served as the parliament’s speaker from 2012 until earlier this year.
 
Schulz won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot giving him the required absolute majority. He is the first president in the history of the EP to be re-elected for a second term.
 
File picture of Olli Rehn. Photo AFP-Lehtikuva.
In a brief address to the parliament in Strasbourg immediately after the vote, Schulz thanked the MEPs for their confidence in him. “It’s an extraordinary honour to be the first re-elected president of the EP. I will take my duty very seriously because we are the heart of European democracy, keeping the task of passing legislation and overseeing its enforcement,” he said.
 
At a press conference, Schulz conceded that major challenges lie ahead of the new parliament but promised that the EP would play a more influential role in determining EU policies, rather than “rubber-stamping laws put up by the European Commission”. 
 
“The worst thing that can happen is that people think we in the EP live in an ivory tower, isolated from the general population who cast their votes for us,” he said.
 
“Europe faces many important challenges, like high unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, and inequality. Therefore, we need to do more to address people’s real concerns, which could mean tackling financial markets, and fighting against speculation and tax evasion,” Schulz added.
 
 
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