Europe

EU Parliament president Schulz to go into German politics

  • FILE - In this May 5, 2014 file photo German Sigmar Gabriel, chairman of the German Social Democratic Party, SPD, left, looks to German Martin Schulz, top candidate of the Party of European Socialists, PES, for the European elections and member of the board of the SPD prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany. Germany's main center-left party faces pressure to decide on a challenger to Angela Merkel in next year's election.   (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

    FILE - In this May 5, 2014 file photo German Sigmar Gabriel, chairman of the German Social Democratic Party, SPD, left, looks to German Martin Schulz, top candidate of the Party of European Socialists, PES, for the European elections and member of the board of the SPD prior to a press conference in Berlin, Germany. Germany's main center-left party faces pressure to decide on a challenger to Angela Merkel in next year's election. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2016 file photo, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz arrives for the EU summit in Brussels. Schulz announced Thursday Nov. 24, 2016 that he will leave his post and go into German politics, where he could become the main opponent to Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's elections. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)

    FILE - In this Oct. 20, 2016 file photo, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz arrives for the EU summit in Brussels. Schulz announced Thursday Nov. 24, 2016 that he will leave his post and go into German politics, where he could become the main opponent to Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's elections. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, speaks with European Parliament President Martin Schultz prior to an EU-Ukraine summit at the European Council building in Brussels on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)

    European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, right, speaks with European Parliament President Martin Schultz prior to an EU-Ukraine summit at the European Council building in Brussels on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)  (The Associated Press)

The president of the European Parliament has announced that he will leave his post and go into German politics, where he could become the main opponent to Chancellor Angela Merkel in next year's elections.

SPD Socialist Martin Schulz made the impromptu statement at the EU legislature and his decision leaves open who will succeed him. Most likely, it would be someone from the Christian-Democrat EPP group, the largest in parliament. The EPP however already has the EU Council presidency with Donald Tusk and the EU Commission presidency with Jean-Claude Juncker.

In Germany, Schulz's SPD is currently a junior partner in the coalition led by Merkel, who announced last week she would seek a fourth term as chancellor.

He has been European Parliament President since 2012.