Senator – Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Senate.
Parliamentary Group: Area Popolare (NCD-UDC)
Town Councilor in Bologna in 1980; from 1983 to 2013 he was a Member of the Italian Parliament. He has been president of the Centro Cristiano Democratico.
He has also been the President of the Camera dei Deputati in the XIV Legislature.
During his activity as MP, has been for long a component of – among others – the Commissions Foreign and Community Affairs and Defense. Has been also Vice President of the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry on terrorism in Italy.
He was an MEP from 1994 to 1999 (IV legislature) and 1999-2001 (V legislature).
In the European Parliament, he has been part of the group of the Partito Popolare Europeo and has been a member of the Commission for External Economic Relations (IV legislature) and the Committee for Development and Cooperation (V legislature).
He was elected President of the Interparliamentary Union on October 19, 2005 for the period 2005-2008.
Has been President of IDC (Internazionale Democratica di Centro since in 29 January 2006.