ROME, May 26 (Xinhua) -- The center-left Democratic Party of Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi took 40.8 percent of the vote in European Parliament (EP) elections Sunday, according to final results released Monday.
Calling the result "historic", Renzi said he was "determined to work for an Italy that will change Europe."
The prime minister said his country would be a "protagonist in Europe" and help shift the European Union's (EU) policy of austerity to a policy of growth.
The anti-establishment Five-Star Movement, which had called for a referendum on Italy's euro membership, gained 21.1 percent of the vote.
Forza Italia, the opposition center-right party of former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, came third with 16.8 percent followed by the regionalist Northern League, with 6.1 percent.
The government's junior partner, the New Center-Right, gained 4.3 percent of the vote, slightly above the 4-percent electoral threshold.
Voter turnout, including residents and Italian citizens living abroad, was 57.2 percent. Italy, which had 73 seats in the 751-member EP, is set to take over the EU's rotating six-month presidency from July 1.