Antonio Tajani (Italian pronunciation: [anˈtɔːnjo taˈjaːni]; born 4 August 1953) is an Italian politician, journalist and former Italian Army officer, who served as President of the European Parliament from 2017 to 2019, and has served as a member of the European Parliament since 2014.
|President of the European Parliament|
17 January 2017 – 3 July 2019
|Vice President||Mairead McGuinness|
|Preceded by||Martin Schulz|
|Succeeded by||David Sassoli|
|First Vice President of the European Parliament|
1 July 2014 – 18 January 2017
|Preceded by||Gianni Pittella|
|Succeeded by||Mairead McGuinness|
|European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship|
9 February 2010 – 1 July 2014
|President||José Manuel Barroso|
|Preceded by||Günter Verheugen|
|Succeeded by||Michel Barnier (Acting)|
|European Commissioner for Transport|
9 May 2008 – 9 February 2010
|President||José Manuel Barroso|
|Preceded by||Jacques Barrot|
|Succeeded by||Siim Kallas|
|Member of the European Parliament|
for Central Italy
|Assumed office |
1 July 2014
14 July 1994 – 8 May 2008
|Born||4 August 1953|
|Political party||Italian Monarchist Union (1970s)|
Forza Italia (1994–2009)
People of Freedom (2009–2013)
Forza Italia (2013–present)
|European People's Party|
Born to a mother from Ferentino, in the province of Frosinone, and a father from Vietri sul Mare, in the province of Salerno, Tajani attended the Liceo Torquato Tasso in Rome and graduated in law from the Sapienza University of Rome; he was a complement officer of the Italian Air Force. After attending the high specialization course in air defense at Borgo Piave di Latina, he was air defense controller at the San Giovanni Teatino radar base. In his youth Tajani was a militant of Fronte Monarchico Giovanile (Youth Monarchist Front), a student organization of the Italian Monarchist Union (UMI). He has consistently advocated the return from exile of the House of Savoy (which was banned by the Italian Constitution until 2002, when the Italian Parliament lifted the ban).
In Berlusconi's first government (1994–95), he was a spokesman for the Prime Minister.
Professional journalist since 1980, he was parliamentary reporter, editor of "Il Settimanale", presenter on Rai of Gr1 and finally head of the Roman editorial staff of Il Giornale newspaper under the direction of Indro Montanelli. He was a special envoy to Lebanon, the Soviet Union and Somalia. In addition to Italian he speaks English, French and Spanish. He is married and has two children.
Europe, European Parliament
In 1994 Tajani was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP), and reelected in 1999 and 2004. He was chairman of the delegation of Forza Italia to the European Parliament from June 1999 until May 2008.
Since 2002 (the year of the Estoril Congress) Tajani has been one of 10 vice-presidents of the European People's Party. He was re-elected at the Rome Congress in 2006 and at the Bonn conference in 2009, and then again at the Bucharest Congress in 2012.
Tajani was an MEP for Central Italy with the Forza Italia party from 2004 to 2008 and sat on the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs. He was a substitute for the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and a member of the Delegation for relations with Israel.
He is a member of the Working Group on the Conference on the Future of Europe.
European Commissioner for Transport
On 8 May 2008, he was appointed as Italy's EU Commissioner by newly elected Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, replacing Franco Frattini, who became the new Italian foreign minister. Tajani received the Commissioner for Transport portfolio. He was officially approved in his post by the European Parliament on 18 June 2008 with a vote of 507 to 53 with 64 abstentions. In this role, Tajani promoted the rescue plan for Alitalia, through the involvement of private funding in the airline capital. His plan was not successful and Alitalia is remains in terminal administration only supported by illegal state aid.
Tajani oversaw the drafting of new EU Regulation relating to transport, including clarification of the rights of passengers in air transport. The aim was for passengers to receive assistance and reimbursement in case of denied boarding, cancellation or delay of the flight. The proposals were poor, resulting in widespread evasion by the airlines across Europe and abuse by customers. Both parties have called for reform of the legislation to make it fair and workable.
European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship
In 2009 he was reappointed as a member of Italian nationality of the second Barroso Commission, as European Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship; he remained one of the four Vice-Presidents of the Commission. The confirmation of Tajani followed the decline of the candidacy of Massimo D'Alema as High Representative for Foreign Policy. For Tajani an alternative foreshadowed would have been a candidacy as president of the Lazio Region.
Michel Barnier was twice Acting Commissioner in his stead, from 19 April 2014 – 25 May 2014 while he was on electoral campaign leave for the 2014 elections to the European Parliament and from 1 July 2014 – 16 July 2014 after he took up his seat.
In October 2012 Antonio Tajani launched his campaign for a new industrial revolution in Europe in order to flip the tendency of the economic crisis and revamp industry. The concrete goals of this initiative are bringing the value of industry to as much as 20% of GDP by 2020, creating new jobs, and promoting sustainable growth.
The new Late Payments Directive 2011/7/EU that has the goal of countering payment delays in commercial transactions, was adopted in 2011. Following the adoption, Tajani urged a prompt implementation in all Member States, even before the official deadline set for 16 March 2016. In order to further accelerate the process, he launched an information campaign across the 27 Member States that takes place between October 2012 and December 2014. In March 2013 Tajani, along with Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the European Commission is ready to acknowledge "mitigating factors" on the assessment of compliance with the deficit and debt criteria, in the context of a plan for the disposal of old debts of the public administration to enterprises.
During 2012 Tajani led the drafting of a proposal to simplify the procedure to register cars in another Member State within the European Union. Concretely, the proposal, which should come into force in 2014, aims at reducing to a minimum the administrative procedures necessary to register cars, vans, trucks and buses in another Member State. Furthermore, it will be impossible to register in another country a stolen vehicle, thanks to the enhanced cooperation of the competent authorities at the European level.
In order to support the European fight against counterfeiting of industrial goods, in December 2012, Vice President Tajani launched an awareness campaign for the citizens. Moreover, in February 2013 the European Commission further reinforced market surveillance through a plan to reinforce the controls of the products in the internal market. In particular, the "Made in" is part of the discussion on counterfeiting, especially for the textile sector in Italy. The package presented by Tajani and Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy introduces among other things the denomination 'Made In' for products manufactured in and outside the EU, so as to better supervise what enters into the European market.
With the goal of promoting competitiveness and sustainable development of the European automobile industry, Tajani presented in November 2012 the Action Plan CARS2020. The Plan focuses on a transition towards more energy efficiency and alternative energy sources, as well as technologies and advanced materials for the production.
Among the actions that Tajani undertook to foster growth and regain higher levels of employment, it is worth mentioning an Action Plan aimed at supporting entrepreneurs, through specific measures to facilitate business transfers, increase access to finance, and give a second chance following a bankruptcy.
Another of Tajani's initiatives was a project called "50,000 Tourists", launched on 1 June 2011, which focussed on promoting low-season tourism between Europe and South America, encouraging cooperation between European governments, the tourism industry, and airline companies.
The initiatives connected to tourism include a Travelers Decalogue in August 2012, a series of rules to travel in full safety. Additionally, in November 2012 Tajani presented, in collaboration with the European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Cecilia Malmström, a Communication to examine how the implementation and development of a common policy in terms of visas could support the EU growth by providing more chances for foreign travelers to visit the Union.
In March 2013 the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso has appointed Tajani to lead the new EU-Brazil working group, which will also include the European Commissioner for Trade Karel De Gucht and European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn. The group will be in charge of evaluating the opportunities for industrial cooperation between the EU and Brazil, particularly in the most technological sectors.
On 11 June 2013 Tajani presented the first Action Plan for the Steel Industry since 1977 to help this sector face today's challenges and lay the foundations for future competitiveness by fostering innovation, creating growth and jobs. The Commission proposed to support the demand for European steel both at home and abroad, by acting to ensure that European steel producers have access to third countries in a fair trade market.
President of the European Parliament
At the end of Martin Schulz's term, the presidency for the remainder of the eighth European Parliament (2014–2019) would have been due by convention to pass to an EPP member. However, the EPP–S&D agreement appeared broken, making it less certain that Tajani, who was selected as EPP candidate, would be elected president. The other contenders were the social-democrat Gianni Pittella, the liberal Guy Verhofstadt, the conservative Helga Stevens, the leftist Eleonora Forenza and the green Jean Lambert. On 17 January 2017, Tajani was elected after four rounds of voting, following the withdrawal of Verhofstadt and declaration of support for the EPP candidate by the ALDE; he was first Italian to hold the office since the Christian democrat Emilio Colombo (1977–1979).
In March 2017, Tajani warned that "Africa is now risking becoming a Chinese colony" as the Chinese want only the raw materials but not interested in stability.
In a letter dated 12 February 2013, Environment commissioner Janez Potočnik warned Tajani about "widespread concerns that [car] performance has been tailored tightly to compliance with the test cycle in disregard of the dramatic increase in emissions outside that narrow scope". Tajani declined to take action or report on Potocnik's concerns, until the Volkswagen emissions scandal confirmed the commissioner's concerns in 2015. At the subsequent EMIS hearing on the subject, Tajani claimed that he was not informed of the issue at the time.
In the eve of his election as President of the European Parliament, LGBTI rights group, ILGA-Europe, expressed its disappointment with Tajani's new political post and his political backing from the European People's Party (EPP) and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE). ILGA has stated that Tajani's concerns, expressed in 1996, with the psychological well-being of same-sex couples and his stance, expressed in 2014, against non heteronormative families are not in line with the stances of the ALDE and the EPP on non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In October 2018, Tajani told Rai News in an interview that the Italian government's plan for a Citizenship income is "not going in the right direction", adding that it "will end up in the pockets of Roma, of foreign citizens – from the EU and non-EU – and certainly not in those of many Italian citizens". The European Roma Rights Centre criticized Tajani over his anti-Roma comments.
In February 2019, Tajani held a speech at the National Memorial Day of the Exiles and Foibe commemoration in Basovizza (Trieste) which aroused an outrage in Slovenia and Croatia, most notably the statement "Long live Trieste, long live Italian Istria, long live Italian Dalmatia". After numerous high representatives of the two countries strongly condemned the speech for its revisionist and irredentist connotations, Tajani stated his words were intended as "a message of peace" and were misinterpreted. The Slovenian party Social Democrats launched a petition demanding Tajani's immediate resignation as president of the EU Parliament, which was signed among others by several former presidents of Slovenia and Croatia.
In a March 2019 radio interview on La Zanzara, a radio show on Italian network Radio 24, Tajani discussed "the good things Mussolini did" which was likewise criticized. In a later tweet, he wrote about manipulation of his words.
- 2 April 2014 - Aragon Empresa Award received by His Royal Highness Felipe the Prince of Asturias for his efforts in favour of industry and entrepreneurship
- 10 February 2014 - Innovadores Award received by El Mundo in recognition of his support for the industry, entrepreneurship and innovation
- 17 April 2012 – Honors for the commitment for SMEs and EU integration, Spanish Royal Institute of European Studies.
- 28 March 2012 – Prize established by the Optical Society of America for his commitment to the promotion of Key Enabling Technologies. The Prize is awarded yearly to public leaders who have distinguished themselves for their activities in the field.
- 19 March 2012 – Europe Prize 2011 by the Initiative Group of the Italians in Brussels (GII) for his strong commitment for the business community - in particular SMEs - and the promotion of the image of Italy in Europe.
- 21 November 2011 – International Journalism Prize "Argil: European man" in the category: "Communicating Europe". Award sponsored by the journalists press office (GUS), by UGEF (Unione Giornalisti Europei per il Federalismo secondo Altiero Spinelli) and by 'ANGPI (Associazione Nazionale Giornalisti Pubblicisti Italiani), as well as' the Union of Roman Chroniclers and with the support and contribution of the Regional Council of Lazio, agencies and public institutions.
In April 2015, the city of Gijón, in the Principality of Asturias (Spain) dedicated a street to Antonio Tajani, in recognition of his work done during his mandate as Vice President of the European Commission, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship. The naming of the street was proposed by the workers of the American company Tenneco together with the federation of Asturian businesses, and approved unanimously by all political forces in the city Council of Gijón, for the mediation carried out by Tajani in September 2013 in the negotiations with Tenneco, which by decided to close the plant in Asturias and, if followed through, would have resulted in the dismissal of 210 employees. After a long and difficult negotiation with the leaders of the company and social partners, Tajani was able to obtain the reopening of the plant in April 2014, preserving the jobs of two-thirds of the workers.
Officer of the Legion of Honour (France)
Appointed by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius.
Order of Civil Merit (Spain)
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- Uma polìtica industrial europeia mais forte para sair da crise Diario de Noticia, 19 Dicembre 2012
- Europe needs an industrial revival Wall Street Journal, 18 Dicembre 2012
- Tajani, piano europeo per la reindustrializzazione Il Sole 24 Ore, 10 Ottobre 2012
- Niente dighe all'industria UE Il Sole 24 Ore, 20 Dicembre 2012
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- Basta ritardi nei pagamenti Il Sole 24 Ore, 10 Aprile 2012
- Pagamenti, l'Ue contro i ritardi Il Messaggero, 5 Ottobre 2012
- Crisi, Tajani, recepire integralmente e presto direttiva pagamenti Euractiv, 5 Ottobre 2012
- "Campagna europea contro i ritardi di pagamento".
- Statement by Vice Presidents Rehn and Tajani on commercial debt of public administrations 18 March 2013
- Immatricolazione intracomunitaria da sveltire, la Commissione europea insiste[permanent dead link] Sicurauto, 6 Aprile 2012
- Immatricolazioni, Commissione propone taglio burocrazia Euractiv, 4 Aprile 2012
- UE, Tajani, Contraffazione toglie a Italia 110 mila posti di lavoro La Stampa, 20 Dicembre 2012
- Contraffazione, dalla Commissione UE nuovo regolamento pe rafforzare i controlli in tutti gli Stati Membri L'Avvenire, 15 Gennaio 2013
- Brussels woos fashion’s corporate titans Financial Times, 28 Febbraio 2013
- Sicurezza prodotti, nuove norme Ue c'è l'obbligo di indicare l'origine Repubblica, 13 Febbraio 2013
- Auto, piano europeo per il rilancio Il Sole 24 Ore, 5 Giugno 2012
- Auto, Bruxelles vara il piano d'azione Europeo Il Messaggero, 9 Novembre 2012
- Piano di rilancio dell'auto: la Ue punta sui fondi Bei Il Sole 24 Ore, 9 Novembre 2012
- EU Kommissar Laedt zum Autogipfel Financial Times Deutschland, 9 Novembre 2012
- Guarded welcome for EU drive to help struggling car industry Financial Times UK, 9 Novembre 2012
- Tajani unveils plan to make entrepreneurship more attractive European Voice, 10 Gennaio 2013
- Il piano Tajani: più imprenditori, anche con il crowdfunding Europarlamento24, 9 Gennaio 2013
- Antonio Tajani on SMEs, strategy and new economy Euronews, 15 Gennaio 2013
- "50.000 tourists initiative".
- The European Commission is promoting travel during the offseason in the EU and South America Archived 26 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Eurochile, 25 June 2012
- Turista avvisato, il decalogo della Commissione europea Eunews, 2 Agosto 2012
- Commission banking on potential of Chinese and Russian tourism Europolitics, 7 Novembre 2012
- Ue-Brasile: Tajani presidente gruppo lavoro bilaterale Ansa, 7 Marzo 2013
- Taranto snodo del piano europeo. Tajani: «Produzione fondamentale» Corriere della Sera, 12 Giugno 2013
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- "EU parliament president warns against turning Africa into 'Chinese colony'". Club of Mozambique. 31 March 2017.
- "Berlusconi indicates Tajani will be his choice for PM". 27 February 2018.
- "Twitter". twitter.com.
- "Tajani wants second term as EU parliament president". euobserver.com.
- "Leaked memo: EU commissioner ignored car emissions warnings".
- "Car emissions: former commissioners Potočnik and Tajani reply on "dieselgate"".
- "WRITTEN QUESTION No. 1289/96 by Antonio TAJANI to the Council. 'DIY' artificial insemination arranged between two Scottish homosexual couples". Official Journal of the European Communities. 39 (C 305): 80. 15 May 1996.
- "Tajani on course for presidency – but does the end justify the means?".
- "EP President Tajani says "Italian Istria and Dalmatia" remark was misinterpreted". N1 HR. 11 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Cerarja Tajanijevo opravičilo ni prepričalo. Tajanija k odstopu poziva tudi NSi". rtvslo.si (in Slovenian). 12 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
- "Tajani se je za svoje izjave v Bazovici opravičil". rtvslo.si (in Slovenian). 11 February 2019. Retrieved 12 February 2019.
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- "Peticija za odstop Tajanija: podpisala sta se tudi Kučan in Mesić". Siol.net (in Slovenian). 12 February 2019. Retrieved 13 February 2019.
- "Tajani: "Mussolini? Ha fatto cose anche positive. Conte? E' gentile ma io parlo con chi decide, cioè Salvini e Di Maio"". Il Fatto Quotidiano (in Italian). 13 March 2019. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- Tajani, Antonio (13 March 2019). "Shame on those who manipulate what I've allegedly said on fascism. I've always been a convinced anti-fascist, I will not allow anyone to suggest otherwise. The fascist dictatorship, racial laws and deaths it caused are the darkest page in Italian and European history". @EP_President. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
- El vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea cree que "es el momento de invertir" Heraldo.es, 2 aprile 2014
- Antonio Tajani premiado en España por su contribución a la mejora de las pymes Archived 13 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Euractiv.es, 2 aprile 2014
- El nuevo INNOVADORES, una herramienta de trabajo diaria para la 'economía del talento' El Mundo, 11 February 2014
- El Vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea y Comisario responsable de Industria y Espíritu emprendedor, D. Antonio Tajani, recibió la Medalla del Real Instituto de Estudios Europeos Real Institutos de estudios europeos (Royal Institute of European Studies), 25 April 2012
- Two European Commissioners Named OSA Advocates of Optics OSA, 28 Marzo 2012
- Gruppo di Iniziativa Italiana[permanent dead link] GII, 15 Marzo 2012
- Ecco i vincitori del Premio "Argil: uomo europeo" 2011 Giornalisti Calabria, 21 Novembre 2011
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- Étienne, Philippe (15 May 2012). Tajani, Antonio (ed.). "Rappresentanza Permanente della Francia presso l'Unione Europea" (PDF). European Commission (in French). Retrieved 25 November 2018.
- R., Juan Carlos (7 February 2013). García-Margallo y Marfil, José Manuel (ed.). "Real Decreto 56/2013, de 4 de febrero, por el que se concede la Gran Cruz de la Orden del Mérito Civil al señor Antonio Tajani, Vicepresidente de la Comisión Europea, responsable de Industria y Emprendimiento" (PDF). Boletín Oficial del Estado (in Spanish). Ministro de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación (33): 11063. Retrieved 25 November 2018.