Pope Nicholas II (Latin: Nicholaus II), born Gérard de Bourgogne, was Pope from 24 January 1059 until his death. At the time of his election, he was Bishop of Florence.
Previously, Papal elections had effectively been controlled by the Roman aristocracy, unless the Emperor was strong enough to be able to intervene from a distance to impose his will. As a result of the battles with the Antipope Benedict X, Nicholas II wished to reform papal elections. At the synod held in the Lateran at Easter, 1059, Pope Nicholas brought 113 bishops to Rome to consider a number of reforms, including a change in the election procedure. The electoral reform adopted by that synod amounted to a declaration of independence on the part of the church. Henceforth, popes were to be selected by the Cardinals in assembly at Rome.