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Pole or Italian to head the European Parliament?

The Pole Jerzy Buzek (pictured left, photo: Thierry Monasse) and Italian Mario Mauro will fight it out to be the EPP candidate to head the European Parliament.

Buzek is a former Polish prime minister (1997-2001) and MEP since 2004. His name has been floated for over a year now. Only a few weeks ago it seemed he would be the obvious choice of the Christian Democrats (EPP), the largest political group in the Parliament. Two reasons for this: 1. he is a heavyweight politician and well respected parlamentarian; 2. there will be several big jobs to be handed out in the EU soon and most seem to agree at least one has to go to the new member states, which are approaching 5 years in the EU.

The Italians obviously see things differently. They have proposed their own candidate, Mario Mauro, who is now deputy president of the European Parliament and close to prime minister Silvio Berlusconi. They also have some valid arguments: they have been in the EU forever, and have not had a president since 1979. Also, they are not fielding candidates for any of the other big posts, whereas the Poles would like to see their minister of foreign affairs Radosław Sikorski become the next secretary general of NATO.

by Fran on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 at 03:23:53 PM EST
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