Paolo Gentiloni was named as Italy's prime minister designate on Sunday following Matteo Renzi's resignation in the wake of a crushing referendum defeat on constitutional reform.
Gentiloni, who served as foreign minister under Renzi, was asked by President Sergio Mattarella to form a new government that will guide Italy to elections in February 2018.
A close ally of the outgoing premier, Gentiloni now has to put together his own government team ahead of a parliamentary approval vote expected on Wednesday.
"Not by choice but out of a sense of responsibility I will be forming a government based on the outgoing majority," Gentiloni said.
In a brief statement, Gentiloni said there was an "urgent need for a fully functioning government" to address a series of pressing international, economic and social issues.
Chief among those is a looming crisis in the troubled banking sector and ongoing relief efforts after a series of deadly earthquakes between August and October.
Renzi, who had been in power for two years and 10 months, resigned last week after voters overwhelmingly rejected a package of constitutional reforms on which he had staked his future.