- Born in Rome on 4 August 1953
- Married with 2 children
- Lived in Paris, Bologna and Rome
Education and languages
- Classical studies at the 'Torquato Tasso' secondary school, Rome
- Degree in Law from 'La Sapienza' University
- Foreign languages: French, English and Spanish
- Officer of the Italian Air Force
He completed officer training at the Florence AirWarfare School (Scuola di Guerra Aerea) and attended a specialisation course for Air Defence Controller at the Training Technical Centre at Borgo Piave. Assigned to the Operational Base of the 33rd Air Force Radar Centre, he worked as Air Defence Controller and was Head of the Operations Room monitoring Italian and European civil and military air traffic.
- Professional journalist and parliamentary journalist Editor of the Italian weekly 'Il Settimanale'
- Presenter for the RAI 1 radio news programme
- Head of the Rome editorial office of the Italian daily 'Il Giornale' Special correspondent in Lebanon, the Soviet Union and Somalia
- Together with Silvio Berlusconi, he was one of the signatories of the founding act of Forza Italia
- European Commission Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship from February 2010.
- European Commission's Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Transport from May 2008 to February 2010
- Vice-Chair of the European People's Party, elected at the EPP Congress in Estoril in 2002, re-elected at the EPP Congress in Rome in 2006 and re-elected again at the EPP Congress in Bonn in 2009
- Member of the Bureau of the Group of the European People's Party. He has taken part in all EPP summits in preparation of the European Councils
- Member of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which drew up the text of the European Constitution
- Elected as member of the European Parliament in 1994, 1999 and 2004 with over 120 000 preference votes
During his 15 years of parliamentary activity he took part in many committees (Foreign Affairs, Constitutional Affairs, at the time chaired by the President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano, Transport and Tourism, Fisheries, Security and Defence).
- Head of the Forza Italia delegation in the European Parliament from June 1999 until May 2008
Spokesman for the President of the Italian Council of Ministers during the first Berlusconi Government.