Poland's Buzek set to be next EU parliament head

11th July 2009, Comments 0 comments

The conservative and socialist parties agreed to share the presidency of the EU's only elected institution for the next five years, with the conservative European People's Party bloc, biggest in the assembly, having first turn.

Brussels -- Poland's Jerzy Buzek is to be the European Parliament's first president from the former-communist east after the assembly's biggest political blocs reached agreement, an official said last week.

The conservative and socialist parties agreed to share the presidency of the EU's only elected institution for the next five years, with the conservative European People's Party (EPP) bloc, biggest in the assembly, having first turn.

"There is a technical agreement," said the spokesman for the new Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the renamed socialist bloc, which maintained its position as the second force after the June 4-7 elections.

"There will be sharing between the two formations and the EPP is going to start," he said.

The president of the EPP, Joseph Daul, told Sweden's Dagens Nyheter newspaper that "we will name the president for the first two and a half years, and the social democrats the following two and a half years."

Two possible names had been floated among the conservative ranks: former Polish prime minister Buzek and Italian Mario Mauro, a protégé of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. But Mauro withdrew from the running Sunday.

The new president, who will succeed Germany's Hans-Gert Poettering, will be voted in when the new parliament holds its inaugural session in Strasbourg from July 14 to 16.

AFP/Expatica

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