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Who Are The MEPs Challenging Roberta Metsola For European Parliament President?

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Maltese MEP and acting European Parliament President Roberta Metsola is widely tipped to take on the role in a permanent capacity after a vote on Tuesday. But she faces stiff competition with candidates from smaller groups putting their names in the race. 

Swedish MEP Alice Bah Kuhnke, representing the Greens, Polish MEP Kosma Złotowski from the European Conservatives and Reformists, and Spanish MEP Sira Rego, a member of the EP left group have all put their names forward, hoping to pip Metsola to the post. 

The election comes at a sombre time for the European Parliament who will be mourning the death of serving EP President David Sassoli on Monday.

But who are the four MEPs running for the role:

Roberta Metsola 

Metsola, a major figure within the Nationalist Party, needs little introduction to a Maltese audience.

Metsola got elected to the European Parliament in 2013, ten years after she first got into EU politics, after Simon Busuttil relinquished his MEP post to become leader of the Nationalist Party.

A year later, she retained her seat after winning over 32,000 first-count votes at the next MEP election, making her the PN’s most popular candidate and the second most popular national candidate. She increased that margin by the time 2019 rolled around.

In November 2020, Metsola was elected as First Vice-President of the European Parliament replacing Mairead McGuinness who became European Commissioner. 

As an MEP, Metsola has focused heavily on irregular migration, presenting landmark proposals that could make the Mediterranean a safer place for everyone. 

Metsola also worked hard to finally address SLAPP lawsuits, which sees powerful figures look to silence journalists and citizens with vexatious multi-million euro law suits. She’s also tackled topics ranging from LGBT+ rights and AI regulation to media freedom and foreign affairs.

Alice Bah Kuhnke

Kuhnke, the Vice-Chair of the Group of the Greens/European Free Alliance, previously served as the Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy between October 2014 and January 2019.

In 2019, Bah stood down as minister to lead her party’s list for the European elections. She served as the Swedish Green Party’s representative at the European Green Party since 2016.

As an MEP, she’s worked on the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.

Sira Rego 

Sira Rego has been an MEP since 2019 and is affiliated with The Left in the European Parliament – GUE/NGL. She has previously run for EP President before, placing fourth in the 2019 election which saw Sassoli appointed.

She sits on the Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy; the Committee on Petitions; the delegation to the EU-UK partnership agreement; and the delegation with Central America countries. 

Rego has also worked on CO2 emissions and human rights issues in Libya.

Kosma Złotowski

The European Conservatives and Reformists Group elected Kosma Złotowski, a Polish politician, as their candidate to run for the Presidency of the European Parliament. 

He sits on the Committee on Transport and Tourism, the Committee on Petitions, and the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age.

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

Do you think Metsola will win?

READ NEXT: Written In The Stars? Roberta Metsola Could Become European Parliament President On Her Birthday 

Julian is the Editor at Lovin Malta with a particular interest in politics, the environment, social issues, and human interest stories.

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