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Maltese Roberta Metsola elected as European Parliament president

Maltese Roberta Metsola elected as European Parliament president

Roberta Metsola has been elected as president of the European Parliament, after obtaining the support of an absolute majority of MEPs on the first round.

In fact, the Maltese MEP received 74% of valid votes that were cast in Strasbourg! During her acceptance speech, the MEP pledged to uphold the values of human rights, openness, solidarity and rule of law that the European Union champions. She also spoke of the need to extend the Schengen area, whilst simultaneously emphasising security within the EU and at its borders.

Metsola also spoke of the Russian threat to Ukraine and the need to focus on the Balkan states, as well as the need for the reunification of Cyprus. She spoke in Maltese, her mother tongue, and English and also paid tribute to her predecessor David Sassoli in Italian.

A historical position

The 42-year-old mother of four is the first Maltese to occupy one of the highest institutional posts within the entire European Union and is also the first woman to occupy the role of EP president since 1999.

Who were the candidates?

Sira Rego

Alice Bah Kuhnke

Kosma Złotowski

Roberta Metsola

First up, Sira Rego (The Left). The 48-year-old was the EP’s anti-establishment choice. Formerly the CEO of the Rivas-Vaciamadrid’s housing council, as well as city councillor, Rego is also a professional nutritionist and technical advisor on sustainability and agro-technology. She is now the vice-president of The Left in the EP.

Up next, Alice Bah Kuhnke (Greens). The 50-year-old was a TV presenter before politics and after studying political science, she was eventually appointed Minister of Culture and Democracy in 2014. She stepped down in 2019 to lead her party’s list for the European elections and also held dictatorships in Save the Children Sweden and the Hela Sverige Foundation.

Next, Kosma Złotowski (ECR). The 58-year-old’s political career spans decades. In 1994, he was elected mayor of Bydgoszcz, eventually joining the Senate of Poland. He then spent three years serving as an MP before being elected as MEP in 2014.

Finally, our very own Roberta Metsola. Her professional and political career has been centred on the EU, having held the vice-chair and secretary-general positions of the European Democrat Students, studying law at the College of Europe. She was voted into the European Parliament in 2013 and was the vice-president of the EP.

The process

 The president, in this case Metsola, is elected to office for a renewable period of two and a half years. During each legislative term, a first election is normally held in July immediately after the election of a new parliament. A second mid-term election is held two and a half years later, in January.

Usually, at the sitting for the mid-term election, the procedure is chaired by the outgoing President, or by one of the outgoing vice-presidents in order of precedence. But this year’s election is suis generis, as a sitting president has never died in the middle of their term.

To secure the presidency, a candidate must win an absolute majority of the votes cast, that is 50%+1.

Congratulations, Roberta Metsola, we are super proud!

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