Wednesday

14th Apr 2021

Martin Schulz to quit as EU parliament leader

  • Martin Schulz has been the president of the European Parliament since 2012. (Photo: European Parliament)

[Updated on 24 November at 10:11]

Martin Schulz will not seek another term as president of the European Parliament, and will try his chances in German politics instead.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Schulz announcing his departure on Thursday (Photo: Peter Teffer)

"Next year I will present myself for the German Bundestag as the head of the list of the Social Democratic Party in Nord-Rhine Westphalia," Schulz told a news conference on Thursday (24 November) morning.

During a brief statement, where he declined to take questions from journalists, Schulz said he had strived to strengthen the European project during his time as an MEP and would continue to do the same from Berlin.

"The world needs more than ever a strong, self-confident EU that stands up for and defends what previous generations have built," he said.

It's not yet clear what role he could play in German politics.

According to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, he has asked SPD leader Sigmar Gabriel to put his name forward for the position of chancellor.

The SPD recently decided to choose its candidate for the highest post in German politics only January.

Gabriel could still decide to run himself. The mayor of Hamburg, Olaf Scholz, has also been named as a possible contender.

Schulz is also his party's favourite to replace Frank-Walter Steinmeier as foreign minister, who has been nominated by Germany's ruling coalition to take over as the next president of Germany in February

Schulz had fought to stay on for a third term, despite having promised to hand over the post to the centre-right EPP group.

But he was struggling to get enough support for his candidacy.

European Commission's president Jean-Claude Juncker had thrown his weight behind Schulz, and even threatened to resign if his friend was forced out, according to Der Spiegel.

On Monday, a commission spokesman didn't deny the statement but dismissed the idea that Juncker was planning to step down.

Weber calls for stability after Schulz exit

The leader of the parliament's centre-right group Manfred Weber urged pro-European groups to rally behind a joint candidate as the assembly's next president.

EUobserved

Schulz: the end of a one-man parliament

Martin Schulz has been widely credited for raising the profile of the European Parliament during his terms at its helm. But he didn't do much to raise transparency and political accountability of the EU institutions.

Stakeholder

Restoring trust and confidence in the European Parliament

Helga Stevens MEP will be standing for the presidency of the European Parliament because she wants to make it a place of open, transparent debate once again, where the voices of all 751 MEPs and the people they represent matter.

News in Brief

  1. EU states make progress on Covid-19 'travel certificates'
  2. Michel pledges to protect von der Leyen's 'dignity' in future
  3. Libya frees UN-sanctioned human trafficker
  4. European court: jailed Turkish writer's rights violated
  5. EU set to miss 1m electric charging points by 2025 target
  6. Lavrov expects Iran nuclear deal to be saved
  7. France suspends flights from Brazil due to Covid variant
  8. Johnson & Johnson delays roll-out of vaccine in EU

MEPs chide Portugal and Council in EU prosecutor dispute

The Belgian and Bulgarian prosecutors who were appointed had also not been the experts' first choice. Belgian prosecutor Jean-Michel Verelst has challenged the council's decision at the European Court of Justice.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersThe Nordic Region can and should play a leading role in Europe’s digital development
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council to host EU webinars on energy, digitalisation and antibiotic resistance
  5. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market

Latest News

  1. Nato and US urge Russia to back off on Ukraine
  2. Future EU platform seeks to 'stay clean' of hate speech
  3. Denmark threatens Syria deportations amid EU concerns
  4. MEPs raise concerns on vaccine 'travel certificates'
  5. Will Romania be EU's Green Deal laggard?
  6. Muslims, Ramadan, and myths facing 'European civilisation'
  7. Europe & Africa - rebuilding the future
  8. How the pandemic became an EU goldmine for crime

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us