Marc Angel won the vice-presidency of the European Parliament by an absolute majority in the second round. (Photo: EU)

Marc Angel won the vice-presidency of the European Parliament by an absolute majority in the second round. (Photo: EU)

Luxembourg MEP Marc Angel was elected vice-president of the European Parliament on Wednesday. In this role, he intends to defend the principles of equality, fight for a social Europe and tackle corruption, he said in an interview.

In the second round of voting on 18 January, 307 MEPs voted for (LSAP/S&D) to , who was removed from office in a corruption scandal. Angel the ballot, making him the first Luxembourg national since 1984 to hold this post. 

The 14 vice-presidents are part of the bureau that sets the rules of the European Parliament. They also draw up the preliminary draft budget, in addition to looking after their respective portfolios.

Angel spoke with Delano’s sister publication Paperjam about his appointment.

You have just been elected vice-president of the European Parliament. How do you feel?

Marc Angel: Relieved. I am also very proud to have achieved this as a Luxembourger. There are only six of us in this huge Parliament. So I am happy and proud, while remaining humble.

What will be your priorities in this position?

I have horizontal political priorities that I can put into every portfolio. I am an advocate for equality, gender equality, the fight against poverty, the protection of minorities and the vulnerable. I am also a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals. This , with its different objectives, is not only green, it is also social and economic.

As vice-chairman of the employment and social affairs committee, I will bring all my experience and my fight for a social Europe into this work. This morning, I made a speech in which I said that we must have a resilient economy, resilient companies, but also resilient citizens. We must invest so that they can pay their bills at the end of the month, they must not stay in cold houses in the winter. Don’t forget to do politics for the people.

The 14 vice-presidents share a list of portfolios. Which ones do you hope to inherit?

That’s the big question. It will depend on the president. Maybe I’ll take over some of Ms Kaïlí’s portfolios. They’ll see according to my profile. She had ICT and the representation of the presidency in Middle Eastern countries.

Substituting the president in international institutions is something I would really like to do, because I have experience after having been chairman of the foreign affairs committee in the Chamber of Deputies in Luxembourg for seven years.

When will this be decided?

I don't know yet.

I want to be a team player.
Marc Angel

Marc Angelvice-presidentEuropean Parliament

What kind of vice-president will you be?

I want to be a team player, to be part of this team. I campaigned saying ‘don’t expect me to be the messiah who will solve all the problems; we will do it together.’ We have an agenda to improve transparency and the fight against corruption. A resolution was passed in December. It is now a matter of putting it into practice; it is a collective responsibility.

What do you intend to do to promote this transparency, after the corruption scandal that led to the dismissal of your predecessor?

There should not be a race between the political groups to see who is the best: this is something we must do together to regain credibility. The president has already proposed a 14-point plan. Now we must not let this remain a dead letter.

We also have homework to do. The scandal has affected some people in our group. Even though we are aware that it is not the group that has a problem but these people, we have to see how this was possible. We are investigating, to avoid a repeat.

This story was first published in French on . It has been translated and edited for Delano.