In its Group meeting in Strasbourg yesterday evening, the S&D Group endorsed the application of European Parliament president Martin Schulz as candidate for the European Commission president. In line with the Lisbon Treaty, the European Parliament will vote on the future EU Commission President, upon a proposal by the heads of state and government and after consultation with the European Parliament – taking into account the results of the next European elections to be held in May next year.
The Party of European Socialists (PES) has decided to present a joint candidate for the post.
The S&D Group, a member organisation of the PES, is the second largest political group in the European Parliament, with 194 MEPs from 28 countries.
Hannes Swoboda, S&D Group president, said:
"Martin Schulz was president of the S&D Group for eight years, and our successful candidate for president of the EP in the second part of the current mandate; he always stood for a fair and socially balanced vision for Europe.
In his role as the president of the European Parliament he has shown on a daily basis that he is a strong and globally recognised leader able to speak for the 500 million Europeans.
"We appreciate that several national parties have already nominated Martin Schulz as their candidate for the upcoming European Parliament elections. As a member of the Party of European Socialists, the S&D Group has a right and a duty to play a role in the nomination process. Martin Schulz is our natural choice, as he stands for the progressive ideas of our Europe-wide Group.
"The S&D Group, of which Martin Schulz is a member, stands for an alternative vision for Europe with a clear agenda for action, including economic, financial, environmental and global reforms, to give people faith in their future. The fight against high unemployment – especially among the young – increasing poverty and the rising gap between rich and poor are the key challenges we face today."