BIO-Schulz 2

The next EU Commission President candidate in our profile series is German MEP Martin Schulz, former leader of the  Social Democrats group and the current President of the European Parliament. Herr Schulz was confirmed as the official nominee of the Party of European Socialists last weekend at their party congress in Rome. From humble beginnings as a bookseller who left school without any qualifications, he’s now tipped as one of the favourites to become the next President of the European Commission.

Schulz was born in Hehlrath, near the German city of Aachen, in 1955. Growing up close to the borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, he speaks German, Dutch and French fluently (as well as English, Italian and Spanish). In the 1970s, he took an apprenticeship as a bookseller, and with the help of his brother, put together enough money to open his own bookshop in Würselen, which he ran until 1994.

He had joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany at 19, and had been active as a local Young Socialist chairman. However, his political career really took off in 1987 when he was elected Mayor of Würselen aged 31 (the youngest ever mayor in North Rhine-Westphalia). He later ran for the European Parliament and was elected in 1994, rising quickly through the ranks. He became head of the German group of  Social Democrats MEPs in 2000, and by 2009 was Chairman of the  Social Democrats group in the European Parliament. In 2012, he was elected by MEPs as the President of the European Parliament.

Schulz says that his number one priority as Commission President would be to create more and better jobs for Europeans. He wants to be able to say in five years time that he has helped to lower youth unemployment and bring an end to unfair wages. He also wants to see the gap shrink between rich and poor EU Member States, as well as fighting tax fraud and making the banking system “safe again”.

If you like the sound of the  Social Democrats‘ candidate, you can vote for them in our Debating Europe Vote 2014. If not, stay tuned as we’ll be publishing profiles of the rival candidates over the coming weeks.

Vote 2014

Voting is closed in our Debating Europe Vote 2014! The results are now in, so come and see what our readers thought!

86 comments Post a commentcomment

  1. avatar
    Ger At IrishClub

    No, because he supports TTIP, a free trade deal which will lower environmnetal standards by the Commission’s own admission!

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      That’s why Greens are losing votes: why do you keep overdefending the enviroment even against the opportunity to create jobs?

    • avatar

      No he does not support the current version of TTIP – especially because of the implications on privacy and the environment! where did you read that?

    • avatar
      Iris Stephen

      Same here. Might have voted for him otherwise, over Juncker. Also worry that he might not get accepted by the citizens of the other European countries because as the largest economy, we obviously already have a lot of influence, formal or not. Am German myself.

    • avatar

      Exactly the guy is evil

  2. avatar
    Mihail-Ernesto Mihailov

    No, because he support Sergey Stanishev, who rules in #Bulgaria in coalition with ultranationalists and etnhic minorities, who support russia and are against europe, calling european integration of Bulgaria “europederasty”

  3. avatar
    Leonam Gonçalves

    No, because I believe he represents everything that is wrong within EU. Why did he have to criticize Portugal for having strong trade relations with Angola and China? Does he want south europe to always depend on Germany so they can make huge profits on interests ?

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      He just pointed out that Portugal risks to become the private paradise of few Angolans and Chinese billionairs. But if you enjoy this reversed neo-colonialism, ok, just vote for EPP or whatever you like. :-)

  4. avatar
    Ana Georgieva


  5. avatar
    Yvonne Kennedy Kinch

    I wouldn’t vote for any of them they are only there for their personal gains – they’ve let their staff down big time!!

    • avatar

      He is the President of the only democraticly elected body of the EU. Or do you mean “nobody” like “nobody is perfect”?

    • avatar

      good idea

    • avatar

      I don’t know who I prefer, but definitely NOT Tsipras. I’m greek, I see him on TV everyday. He just makes promises that CAN’T be fulfilled! He doesn’t even have the guts too say the truth. He’s just a populist and History has shown that chances are he will change completely if he gets elected! Moreover, his party said they will cause disruption in Greece: in a country that is still healing…! Seriously, how did they believe this is a good idea!?

    • avatar
      Cátia Gonçalves

      Because he was in favor of all the austerity imposed to the Portuguese as the Euro-group chief?

  6. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar


    He’s too arrogant, too bullish and lacks the necessary diplomatic skills to do justice to the role.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      in fact just an arrogant con really hope to reform Europe. :-)

  7. avatar
    Ilias Bafounis

    Tsipras? A candidate for EC when a lot of people in his party do not want Europe… seems logic

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      he doesn’t even know english.

    • avatar

      Tsipras? A guy that under no curcumstance will become President, thus allowing the right wing to maybe crown Juncker? That is a smart much! Just like voting for Nader 2000 instead of Gore and letting Bush become President. Great strategy! ;(

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      The lack of democracy in Spain is 100% a Spanish issue.

  8. avatar
    Емил Марков

    Yes, I would. Just don’t know how exactly when we don’t have normal left representatives in Bulgaria. It’s a pity but that’s the truth.

  9. avatar
    Petran Barto

    What measures took PES against the socialist Romanian PM who controled a coalition which keep trampling the rule of law, refuse to defer corrupt lawmakers to justice, wants to build up super-immunity for people in parliament and government? His Deputy PM is investigated for frauds committed at a referendum. They kept insulting the European Commission members which tried to stop their legal abuses. The PM also
    Was proved for having plagiarized almost all his PhD dissertation by scientific magazines and University
    of Bucharest. What did he do? He dismantled the bodies granting academic certificates setting up his own committees, and changed the prosecutor general in order to protect himself. So, dear Mr Schulz, first you need to clean up your party-group in order to gain ordinary people’s respect. Romania is a great business partner for Germany, but the country needs political democratic support as the Socialists bring it back to bleak communist

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      Well, if your Social Democratic Party keep the 35-40% of votes, it means Rumanians are ok with it overall, despite its current leaders’ troubles. So I can’t see why the PES should blame it.

  10. avatar

    I think Guy Verhofstadt will be the best President. No, I don’t support Schulz .

  11. avatar
    catherine benning

    NO, not keen on his face.

    • avatar
      jose sankoorikal

      Greetings from india and from js

  12. avatar
    Olga Apostolova

    I would not vote for him, no way. Why? Because of his continuous support for Sergey Stanishev and the Bulgarian Socialist Party – “socialist” only by name, in reality a shady and non-transparent structure supported by oligarchs Despite mass protests since June 2013, this party is still in power – only because it rules in coalition with Bulgaria’s ultra nationalistic party Ataka and Bulgaria’s Turkish minority party. The only thing these 3 have in common is economic interests. Enough said about the socialist idea in Bulgaria. Enough said about the socialist principles of Mr Schulz. #оставка

  13. avatar
    Ivan Rabadjiev

    YES! He is a role model. Without overdressed educational degree or career in the private sector. That is a self-made man and he is such man in the hardest professional field – politics. I think that he really is the nominee of the people.

  14. avatar
    Alex Tselentis

    WHO is the key word, WHO are all these unelected buerocrats ?? They dont answer to anyone and yet they “rule” over Europe ?? Sounds like another America2 .

  15. avatar
    Jason Piccioni

    These extreme antidemocratic Maoist participants should be disbanded. Is that really his flyer!?

  16. avatar
    Profilo Hladilnik

    No, because he support Sergey Stanishev, who rules in Bulgaria in coalition with ultranationalists and etnhic minorities.

    • avatar

      I think he is the only viable opposition to Junker the candidate for the EPP and even if some obscurity relating some eastern european countries I believe that he is a true European and closer to the people than the usual Brussels burocrat, because he knows what the true problems of the EU are and partly how to solve them. GO Employment creation! No concrete project has been made by the EU and he would give it the importance it deserves.

  17. avatar
    Gastone Losio

    I will vote again for anyone who has a genuine project, like the one of the founding fathers, for Europe. Starting from the cancellation of the sovereign nation-states. One government and one parliament. Just Merkel, Hollande, Berlusconi … otherwise I will wait until the end of my days.
    See my project in the meantime, and see what exactly I mean,. Roadmap included, Martin!

    • avatar
      Tarquin Farquhar

      @Gastone Losio
      Berlusconi? Are you mad?

  18. avatar

    I will vote again for anyone who has a genuine project, like the one of the founding fathers, for Europe. Starting from the cancellation of the sovereign nation-states. One government and one parliament. Stop with Merkel, Hollande, Berlusconi … otherwise I will wait until the end of my days.
    See my project in the meantime, and see what exactly I mean,. roadmap, mission and strategy, logo, and name of the idea FCE, included, Martin!

  19. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    Eu admiro muito a sua maneira de estar no mundo das politicas europeias e internacionais o Sr Mr Martin Schulz

  20. avatar
    Alex Macfie

    Catia: conflict not an issue: under EU rules he would have to give up his EP seat if he became EC President.

  21. avatar

    hummmm….. lets think about it…

  22. avatar

    Schulz, hmmm, I don’t trust him. I have a bad feeling about him. Germany’s ambition to dominate economically and impose their political agenda to the region will never change. For southerners, Merkel = Schulz.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      I’m shoutherner and I don’t agree. I personally heared and saw Martin Schulz during his speeches and he is a truly socialdemocrat, able to change economics and politics in EU. Merkel is in Grosskoalition with the SPD, so she cannot openly criticize the PES’ candidate, but she is one of the main leader of the EPP, so she supports Juncker (even if she prefered Donald Tusk as EPP’s common candidate, but this was eventually impossible to obtain).

  23. avatar

    The way I see it is that any german regardless T-shirt colour will do the same arrogant regional politics. He might be a truly pure blood social-democrat for germans but when it comes about “Ausländer” nations, oh well, obey or die. In short, Germany “vision” in the region are like runes written in stone, and is hard to believe that will change in the next future. But let’s assume that I’m wrong, and Schulz it does want to change Germany’s attitude towards South, what chance does he has inside own party and Grosskoalition ? He will be tear apart shortly without big fuzz.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      he’s candidate for EU, not for Germany. Your comment is quite groundless.

  24. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    very good Martin Schulz

  25. avatar

    @Pietro Moroni

    So you don’t see any connection between Germany interests and the ninety something seats in EU Parliament, do you ? As a side note that you might find it irrelevant, just recently “… Germany’s Supreme (Constitutional) Court has scrapped a rule whereby parties need at least three percent of the vote to be represented in the European Parliament. hose who might benefit include fringe anti-establishment parties and the far-right NPD.”

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      Nonsense blabbling. Come back with arguments or do not come back.

  26. avatar

    @Pietro Moroni

    No s**t. You being… the authority who afford to make recommendations to others on what is or not an “argument” during a debate and dismiss discretionary anyone. Is that so ? I think not.

    • avatar
      Pietro Moroni

      You’re saying “omg he’s german, germany is plotting against the world”. Wake up, WW2 is finished, you know? I’m not going to pay you any attenction anymore. Bye.

  27. avatar

    I watch him closely last night on a TV Show. It give me a “soft” feeling about him. Not quite the risk taker combatant that I’m looking for. Is a better alternative to JC Junk there is no doubt here, but I was hoping for a more “in your face”- daring med, or a stubborn polak so far. I suspect a “parental equidistance” sort of political behaviour, not quite the right approach when you have to deal with Nigel the brit or the dutch Geert Wilders. Also is hard to say how flexible or rigid he might be as a negotiator and compromise maker, I can rate him a 6 mostly 7 from scale 1 to 10, but I can only speculate here, maybe it will the right guy at the right time, I hope so.

  28. avatar

    He is the most propable to win, he knows whats up, but they will need to step up adressing issues.

  29. avatar
    Marlene Ellis

    He’s the safest to sort out Russia

  30. avatar

    Yes as far as an opinion from outside , and also expertised authority regarding global HUMAN ENGINEER for all human health related issues facing globally niwadays, I wish all the success for the next energetic PRESIDENT – MARTIN SCHULZ will be most capable and efficient person to do all the needful regarding !

  31. avatar

    this man, trying to school European Parliament have no secondary education… “Schulz attended the Heilig-Geist (Holy Spirit) grammar school, a private Roman Catholic school run by the Holy Ghost Fathers (or Spiritans),[3] in Broich (now Würselen), a district of the town of Broichweiden, for nine years, leaving without his GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education)”

  32. avatar
    Mr. Yoda

    Dark Lord’s apprentice he is..

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