Ex-Berlusconi advisor picked as European Parliament head
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charles Flanagan, has welcomed the election of Antonio Tajani as president of the European Parliament.
The Italian centre-right politician was elected after a final round of voting last night.
Mr Tajani (63), a former spokesman for Italy's Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner, got 351 votes, while his socialist rival Gianni Pittella got 282.
Minister Flanagan said that the appointment comes at challenging time for the European Parliament, member states and other EU institutions alike, particularly during the forthcoming EU/UK negotiations.
"The European Parliament will have an important role to play in our consideration of these and other issues and I look forward to working with the new president in this regard," Minister Flanagan said.