Can EP's new president be game-changer?

Miao Xiaojuan, Xinhua, 17.01.2012

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The European Parliament's new president Martin Schulz boldly demanded more decision-making power for the institution that represents 500 million Europeans, immediately after his election on Tuesday. […]

While MEPs are elected for a five-year term, the Parliament's president and various vice-presidents only serve two and a half years, and thus the S&D and the EPP have decided to trade the presidency back and forth with joint votes to ensure an equal share for both.

It does not strike media or scholars any more, as Janis Emmanouilidis, an expert with the Brussels-based European Policy Center, said, "the election practice is much less significant than other democratic issues concerning the Parliament."

Nevertheless, the fact that Schulz only won 387 votes out of 670 valid votes cast on Tuesday, or slightly more than a half in favor, revealed a certain degree of dissatisfaction among the MEPs. […]

In the eyes of co-workers and media, he is a non-smoker and a non-drinker, with a strict lifestyle but a fiery temperament. He made headlines in 2003 when accusing the then Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi of undemocratic leanings and meddling with national justice system.

"He is outspoken and offensive, which can be positive in difficult times but also has its limits," said Emmanouilidis, adding that Schulz would always confront problems while sometimes compromise could also be vital. […]

For the original article see here.


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