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