Ex-officio member as President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament

Gianni Pittella was born on 19 December 1958 in Lauria, Italy. He joined the Italian Socialist Party at a young age.

At the age of 21, he was elected to the municipal council of his hometown and a year later became a member of the regional council of Basilicata.

After graduating in medicine and surgery (specialising in legal and forensic medicine), Pittella remained very much involved in local and national politics. In 1996, he was elected to the Italian Parliament. His passion for Europe led him to pursue his political work at the EU level and he was elected to the European Parliament in 1999, joining S&D Group.

Pittella has been a member of the European Parliament since then, taking on several important roles within the S&D Group as Head of the Italian delegation (since 2006), and as the European Parliament’s most senior Vice-president (2009-2014). 

On 2 July 2014, he was elected president of the S&D Group. Besides his political work, Pittella is the author of several books on the future and challenges of the European project