Gianni Pittella

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Gianni Pittella
Gianni Pittella 2017.jpg
Leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
In office
1 July 2014 – 4 March 2018
Preceded byMartin Schulz (Acting)
Succeeded byUdo Bullmann (Acting)
President of the European Parliament
Acting
In office
18 June 2014 – 1 July 2014
Vice President
Preceded byMartin Schulz
Succeeded byMartin Schulz
Member of the European Parliament
for Southern Italy
In office
13 June 1999 – 22 March 2018
Personal details
BornGiovanni Saverio Furio Pittella
(1958-11-19) 19 November 1958 (age 59)
Lauria, Italy
Political partyDemocratic Party (2007–present)
Other political
affiliations
Socialist Party (Before 1994)
Labour Federation (1994–1998)
Democrats of the Left (1998–2007)
Spouse(s)Aurora Pittella
Children2
Alma materUniversity of Naples Federico II

Giovanni Saverio Furio Pittella (born 19 November 1958) is an Italian politician who has served as Leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group 2014 to 2018 and a former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from Italy 1999 to 2018. He previously served as President of the European Parliament from June 2014 to July 2014.

Political career[edit]

Local and national political career[edit]

Following the political career of his father Domenico Pittella, who was a member of the Senate (1972–1983), he was a member of the Italian Socialist Party, Labour Federation and Democrats of the Left.

At the age of 21, he was elected to the municipal council of his hometown Lauria and a year later became a member of the regional council of Basilicata with responsibility for training, culture and productive activities.

After graduating in medicine and surgery and later specialising in legal and forensic medicine at the University of Naples Federico II Pitella remained very much involved in local and national politics. In the 1996 elections, he was elected to the Italian Parliament.

In 2013, Pittella was a member of the national leadership council of the PD, then led by Pier Luigi Bersani. He took part in the 2013 Democratic Party leadership election. He came fourth out of four with 5.7% in the vote by party members, thus being excluded to the subsequent primary election.[1]

Member of the European Parliament, 1999–present[edit]

In the 1999 European elections, Pittella was elected to the European Parliament and became a member of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. He was re-elected in 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2014, he added over 100,000 votes to his 2009 result, placing him ahead of party-colleague Pina Picierno, the candidate hand-picked by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to lead the PD list in the European Parliament's southern Italian constituency representing Sicily and the other Italian islands.[2]

In the European Parliament, Pittella first served on the Committee on Budgets between 1999 and 2009. In this capacity, he was the Parliament's rapporteur on the 2006 budget,[3] the last under a seven-year expenditure framework. He later was a member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (2009-2012) and the Committee on Culture and Education (2012-2014). Within his parliamentary group, he led the Italian delegation within the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and also served as the group's First Vice-Chairman between 1999 and 2014, under the leadership of successive chairmen Enrique Barón Crespo (1999-2004), Martin Schulz (2004-2012) and Hannes Swoboda (2012-2014).

Pittella served as one of the 14 Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament from 14 July 2009 to 1 July 2014. Following the 2014 elections, on 6 June 2014, he was elected with 96 percent of the votes as the President of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, the second largest political group at the European Parliament and the only one with members from all 28 EU member states.

In addition to his committee assignments and party functions, Pittella currently serves on the Parliament's delegation . He was previously a member of the delegation for relations with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo (2009-2014); with Australia and New Zealand (2002-2004); and with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia (1999-2002).

In 2016, Pittella attended the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to watch the nomination of Hillary Clinton.[4][5]

Italian elections, 2018[edit]

In the 2018 general election in Italy, Pittella was elected to the Italian Senate, having been invited to stand by Democratic Party chairman Matteo Renzi.[6] He subsequently resigned as leader of the S&D Group.[7]

Other activities[edit]

  • Fondation européenne d'études progressistes (FEPS), Ex-Officio Member of the Bureau

Recognition[edit]

Personal life[edit]

Besides his political work, Gianni is the author of several books on the future and challenges of the European project such as a Brief History of the Future of the United States of Europe (2013). He is also a visiting professor at the University of East Anglia's London Academy of Diplomacy.

Gianni Pittella is married and has two children.

In September 2013 Pittella's younger brother, Marcello, a fellow Socialist, Labourite, Democrat of the Left and finally Democrat and very close to his brother Gianni,[8] won the centre-left primary for President of Basilicata.[9] In November he was elected President by a landslide.[10]

Career[edit]

Here is a summary of Pittella's biography:[11]

Controversies[edit]

In 2012, Pittella introduced, in Brussels, Simona Mangiante to Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese academic, reportedly with high level ties with the Russian government.[12][13] At the time, Mangiante worked for the European Parliament as an attorney specializing in child abduction cases. Latter she worked as an administrator to the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs during the Seventh European Parliament. In 2018, Mangiante told The Guardian, "I always saw Mifsud with Pittella." and that Pittella suggested she go to work for Mifsud in London.[12][14] In London, she met George Papadopoulos during the 2016 presidential campaign, whom she married in 2018. Papadopoulos was convicted as part of Robert Mueller's Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-21. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  2. ^ James Panichi (June 18, 2014), Gianni Pittella – avuncular doctor European Voice.
  3. ^ Martin Banks (December 7, 2005), Next year’s EU budget set for approval by MEPs European Voice.
  4. ^ Ryan Heath (July 28, 2016), A new Hillary demographic: Europe’s center right Politico Europe.
  5. ^ Jay Newton-Small (July 28, 2016), An Italian Politician Campaigns for Hillary Clinton in Philadelphia Time
  6. ^ Pierre Briançon and Jacopo Barigazzi (January 27, 2018), Gianni Pittella to run for Italian senate Politico Europe.
  7. ^ S&D Group (March 7, 2018), Pittella resigns S&D Group leadership
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-19. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  9. ^ "In Basilicata primarie al fotofinish: vince Marcello Pittella - Europa Quotidiano". Europaquotidiano.it.
  10. ^ "Ministero dell'Interno : Archivio Storico delle Elezioni". Elezioni.interno.it.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. Retrieved 2013-10-15.
  12. ^ a b Harding, Luke; Kirchgaessner, Stephanie (January 18, 2018). "The boss, the boyfriend and the FBI: the Italian woman in the eye of the Trump-Russia inquiry". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  13. ^ Cadwalladr, Carole; Savage, Michael (4 November 2017). "Boris Johnson in spotlight as questions raised over Russian influence on UK". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  14. ^ Stephanopoulos, George; Mosk, Matthew (March 5, 2018). "Russia Investigation Romance: Key witness George Papadopoulos marries Italian lawyer". ABC News. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  15. ^ Hsu, Spencer; Helderman, Rosalind S. (September 7, 2018). "Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos sentenced to 14 days in plea deal with Mueller probe". Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-09-07.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Martin Schulz
President of the European Parliament
Acting

2014
Succeeded by
Martin Schulz
Party political offices
Preceded by
Martin Schulz
Acting
Leader of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats
2014–2018
Succeeded by
Udo Bullmann
Acting