Italian MEP Gianni Pittella has become the new leader of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group in the European Parliament, after Martin Schulz got re-elected as EP president and left the post. The centre-left group’s priority for this term will be to tackle inequality in Europe. “The middle class is being marginalised," Mr Pittella said. "We need to stop this social divide with policies to invest in human capital, to support business, research and training."
Watch the video to learn how Mr Pittella sees relations between S&D and the centre-right EPP, the Parliament's two largest political groups, as well as his views on the EP's role in economic and financial decisions and on the UK's future within the EU.
Pittella, 55, a medical doctor by trade, was first elected as MEP in 1999. In the previous parliamentary term, he served as EP vice-president. Following the European elections in May 2014, he became acting EP president before the re-election of Schulz at the opening plenary session.