Hello and welcome to Backstage. Hello, I'm Maurizio. I'm from Italy. Does the President of the Parliament have any real power? Like Maurizio, many of you have asked what the role of the President is, what do they do and if they have any power. To answer your questions, let's take a quick look at this role. The President. When the President enters the hemicycle, the 754 MEPs must fall into line. The President leads this vast assembly. I invite you to defend it. -Cooee! He directs the sessions. OK, the next speaker now please. He regulates the debates. Dear colleagues, it'd be nice if you would let Mr Orbán finish his speech. Thank you. Mr Cohn-Bendit, please be so kind as to listen, thank you. He oversees the votes. Against. Abstained. Let's check this electronically. The vote is open. Shall we see the result? Approved with a large majority. He signs all the EP's official decisions and sets the EU budget. Above all else, the President is the guardian of the Parliament overseeing its rules and its functioning, and directing its activities. The role isn't confined to Parliament. The President represents the Parliament worldwide. He receives visits from world leaders and important people. The President often defends causes on behalf of Europeans. Good morning Mr President. -Welcome. I said to the Prime Minister, as I've said to all the representatives of the Arab Spring, 'We must learn to respect their wishes and they're obliged to respect our wishes.' Not everyone likes this. In 2008 former President Pöttering met the Dalai Lama against China's warnings. Later he gave the Sakharov Prize to a Chinese dissident. He became an undesirable person in China. The President is the voice of the Parliament in the EU. ...to avoid having a Budget Commissioner. At the European Council, he can express the MEPs' position. He meets the leaders of the EU institutions and the 27 EU leaders when they decide on Europe's future. But he can only speak for 30 minutes. Even so, the Parliament's power has been growing at EU level. It is fighting for the President to have more access to Council meetings and to have more say in decisions that affect Europeans' future. Bye!
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