Antonio Tajani, of the EPP Christian Democrat group, has been elected president of the European Parliament.
Mr Tajani defeated his socialist opponent in a day-long series of polls.
Before the first round of voting, the EPP, the largest group in the legislature, and the ALDE liberals, the fourth-largest, announced a coalition that gave Mr Tajani a big early lead over S&D socialist Gianni Pittella.
He maintained the lead through four rounds of voting.
The battle among the two Italians was won by Mr Tajani on a vote of 351-282.
Mr Tajani’s victory gives the Christian Democrats all the biggest jobs in the EU, with Donald Tusk as Council president and Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission chief.