Martin Schulz is a German politician from the SPD. He heads the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats and was president of the European Parliament until 2017.
Schulz made the headlines when he was attacked by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi in 2003, by UK MEP Godfrey Bloom in 2010 - and when he made a controversial statement in his speech to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset in 2014. Schulz says he fluently speaks German, English, French, Spanish, Italian and Dutch. On leaving the European Parliament, he intends to return to German politics for the 2017 election cycle and has been tipped as a probable cabinet minister.
Last weekend Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union Party scored a big win in a key state election. In North Rhine Westphalia, the CDU seized power from the Social Democrats whose chief, Martin Schulz is Merkel's main challenger in the September federal elections. Berlin correspondent is Daniel Pelz explains how significant the state election victory was for the Chancellor.
The election result in North Rhine-Westphalia has confirmed the trend on the federal level: Chancellor Angela Merkel is a big step closer to a fourth term. Her SPD opponent Martin Schulz has been considerably weakened.