Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement today (17 January) on the election of Antonio Tajani as President of the European Parliament:
I congratulate Antonio Tajani on his election as President of the European Parliament today.
The tasks facing Europe will not grow any smaller in the coming years. That applies to European and foreign policy, but it is also the case with regard to mounting anti-europeanism, populism and nationalism. Through his experience with European policy as a long‑standing member of the European Parliament and EU Commissioner, Antonio Tajani has what it takes to lead the Parliament in difficult times.
The European Parliament is a crucial player in Europe in its role working to convince people of the value of our European project and when it comes to taking a stand against populists and extremists.
I would also like to convey my great respect and thanks to Martin Schulz, whose mandate as President of the European Parliament ends today. In the past few years, Martin Schulz has, like no other, given the European Parliament a face and a voice, made it a force for debate and a heavyweight in the European arena. By so doing he has strengthened the “home of democracy in Europe” and set high standards which will have an impact far beyond his term of office.