President of the European Parliament

President of the European Parliament
2012-2014 Martin Schultz, Germany

Photo: European Parliament

The European Parliament is headed by the President of the Parliament. He or she represents the Parliament in all negotiations.

The President is assisted by fourteen Vice-Presidents. With their help, the President directs all the activities of the European Parliament and its institutions. The President oversees the debates in plenary sessions. Every year twelve plenary sittings are held in Strasbourg. Six extraordinary sittings are held in Brussels.

The President represents the European Parliament in the European Union and internationally. The President may express his or her opinion on major political issues and make proposals to strengthen the position of the European Union. At the opening of every meeting of the European Council ,the President announces the opinion of the European Parliament. He or she also talks about any special concerns of the Parliament and specific points of the agenda.

After the European Parliament has approved the budget of the European Union, the President will sign it. All the jointly approved regulations are signed by the President of the Parliament and the Chairman of the Council.

The term of the President lasts two and a half years. The same person can have two terms in office. The President is elected by the Parliament by secret ballot.