Photo credit: Johann Caruana
Roberta Metsola has just been unanimously elected as the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, the most high-profile Brussels post a Maltese MEP has ever held.
The role makes Metsola the second most senior among 705 MEPs and one of only 15 MEPs who have an institutional role that is not related to partisan politics.
“This is a tremendous honour and I am determined to use my new responsibilities to continue to be a strong voice for European citizens, for Malta and Gozo and continue to build bridges across the political divide,” she said.
Metsola was nominated by her political group the European People’s Party three weeks ago after beating stiff competition from Irish candidate Sean Kelly. Despite being considered to be the underdog in that election, she managed to win more than 65% of the EPP vote.
Today, across the rest of the political groupings, Metsola fared even better. Every political group decided to support her candidature instead of proposing any other names. They even decided not to put the matter to a vote since there were clearly no objections.
The role of First VP became vacant a few weeks ago after incumbent Mairead McGuinness was sworn in as Ireland’s Commissioner in October after being nominated on 2nd September.
Metsola’s term will last a year before fresh elections take place for the role of EP president, currently held by David Sassoli from the Socialist group, and his 14 vice-presidents.
The role will give Metsola much more visibility in Europe since she will frequently get the opportunity to represent the Parliament and chair plenary sessions.
This will considerably elevate her influence within European circles and place her on a number of decision-making tables, involving her in negotiation of legislation with the European Commission and the European Council.
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