Helga fails to win European Presidency

Helga Stevens, third in the election for European President

Helga Stevens has failed in her bid to be elected as the new president of the European Parliament.

The Deaf MEP, who was the nominee of the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) party, was eliminated after a series of ballots in Brussels yesterday evening. She came in third behind Italians Antonio Tajani and Gianni Pittella in all three ballots before her elimination ahead of the final head to head vote.

In her three minute introduction speech before voting began Stevens had told parliament: “Vote for the candidate who will listen to you. I might be deaf but I am a very good listener”

Italian conservative Antonio Tajani was eventually elected the new president of the European Parliament. Mr Tajani, 63, is a former spokesman for Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi and an ex-European commissioner.

Markku Jokinen of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) complimented Stevens later on social media. He said: “We are proud of your campaign for European President ! You broke traditional structures and attitudes in positive ways!”

The candidates:

  • Eleonora Forenza, European United Left-Nordic Green Left Group (Italy)
  • Jean Lambert, Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance (UK)
  • Gianni Pittella, Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats Group (Italy)
  • Laurenţiu Rebega, Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (Romania)
  • Helga Stevens, European Conservatives and Reformists Group (Belgium)
  • Antonio Tajani, European People’s Party Group (Italy)
  • Guy Verhofstadt, Group of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (Belgium)