Roberta Metsola becomes new President of European Parliament

Roberta Metsola, elected as the President of the European Parliament, is a politician from the European Union’s smallest nation. She is viewed as a political moderate despite the controversy over her anti-abortion stance.

Roberta Metsola
Roberta Metsola

Roberta Metsola, Centre-right Maltese lawmaker, was chosen on January 18, 2022, to head the European Union Parliament. Metsola has become the only third woman to hold the position. She is also viewed as a political moderate despite the controversy over her anti-abortion stance.

Roberta Metsola, elected on the same day she turned 43, is the politician from the European Union’s smallest nation. She has also become the youngest president ever to run the chamber. Metsola takes over as the President of the European Parliament at a time of mourning for the legislature on the sudden demise of its speaker David Sassoli.

Who is Roberta Metsola?

1. Roberta Metsola is a member of the biggest Parliamentary bloc, the European People’s Party. She was also already the frontrunner to replace the Centre-left Italian parliament Chief under a deal that was struck by the main political groupings.

2. Metsola is no stranger to the European Union’s byzantine corridors of power as she served as David Sassoli’s top vice president of the Chamber.

3. Her career has been intertwined with her Mediterranean homeland’s membership of the EU. Her rise to a job dominated by lawmakers from bigger powers can help shine the spotlight on often overlooked countries in the EU.

4. Metsola, as a student, campaigned for the successful ‘Yes’ vote when Malta had decided to join the European Union in 2003.

5. She headed to the elite College of Europe in Bruges that turns out Eurocrats and went on to work in Brussels.

6. Metsola was eventually elected as an MEP (Member of European Parliament) on her third try, in 2013, on the ticket of Malta’s Nationalist Party.

7. Roberta Metsola claimed the position of Vice-President in 2020 after an Irish legislature left to become an EU Commissioner.

8. Metsola gained extra prominence in 2021 standing at a string of high-profile events for Sassoli as he suffered from pneumonia.

Metsola’s anti-abortion stance

Roberta Metsola’s anti-abortion stance-which remains illegal in largely Catholic Malta- saw her candidacy into opposition for some lawmakers.

In June 2021, she voted against a report that urged all the EU member states to ensure universal access to safe and legal abortion for women. She argued that it infringed Malta’s right to decide for itself.

Her view on abortion was described as a ‘weak spot’ for the top position. However, Metsola insisted that she will put her personal stance on one side and will represent the majority view of the European Parliament as President.

European Parliament

The European Parliament is one of the three legislative branches of the European Union and one of its seven institutions. 

The European Parliament is composed of 705 members and represents the second-largest democratic electorate in the world (after the Parliament of India) and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world. 

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