European Parliament President Martin Schulz announced Thursday he will not seek a third term in his EU post, but instead will run for election in the German parliament next year.
"I will not seek a new mandate as European Parliament President and will continue to defend the EU project from national politics," Schulz tweeted.
Speaking during a news conference in Brussels, he said: "Over the last month there has been a lot of speculation in the press about my future. I have now made that decision."
"I will not run as president of the European Parliament for a third term. Next year, I will run for the German Bundestag as the head of the list of my party, the SPD, in North Rhine-Westphalia."
Schulz said Germany had a "special responsibility" to strive for the success of the EU and his commitment was "unwavering".
"From now I will be fighting for this project from a national level. But my values do not change," he added.
Schulz, 60, has been a fierce critic of right-wing trends during his tenure as European Parliament president, such as around the Brexit vote and Donald Trump's U.S. election win.
In 2012, Schulz was elected president of the European Parliament by 387 votes for a two-and-a-half-year term. In 2014, he was re-elected by 409 votes, becoming the first president in the history of the European Parliament to hold a second term.