German Socialist Schulz elected to lead MEPs again


The new European Parliament has begun its first session and elected German Socialist Martin Schulz to a new term as parliament president, the BBC reports. He got 409 votes in the 751-seat chamber, after his Socialist S&D bloc backed the conservative Jean-Claude Juncker to be Commission president.Mr Juncker’s EPP bloc, the biggest in parliament, voted for Mr Schulz in a deal giving him a 2.5-year term. British Eurosceptic MEPs turned their backs when the EU’s anthem was played. A chamber orchestra opened the session in Strasbourg by playing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
Most MEPs stood up for it, but British Conservatives – in the ECR group – sat quietly while UKIP members turned their backs, the Eurosceptic MEP Daniel Hannan tweeted. The Lisbon Treaty, signed nearly five years ago, gave the parliament an equal say with EU governments in most areas of EU business. In a speech to MEPs on Tuesday, Mr Schulz said “there is now no hierarchy in the EU… today we are the source of democratic legitimacy in the EU”.

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