इंडियन आवाज़     27 Jan 2023 09:01:10      انڈین آواز
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Who is Roberta Metsola, the new EU President

AMN/ WEB DESK

On Tuesday January 19, EU lawmakers elected Roberta Metsola as President of the European Parliament until 2024, with 458 votes in the first round.

Roberta Metsola won the election in the first voting round, where she received an absolute majority of 458 votes out of 690 cast in the remote secret vote, among three candidates. At the beginning of the day’s proceedings, Kosma Złotowski (ECR, PL) withdrew his candidacy, bringing the number of candidates down to three.

The centre-right Maltese lawmaker Roberta Metsola, is only the third woman to head the European Parliament, despite controversy over her anti-abortion stance.

Metsola – a member of the largest bloc, the European People’s Party won a large majority with 458 votes to become the third woman to head the chamber after a deal between the leading political groupings.

Elected on the day she turns 43, the politician from the European Union’s smallest nation becomes the youngest president ever to run the chamber. She takes over at a time of mourning for the legislature as it marks the sudden death last week of its speaker David Sassoli.

Metsola was eventually elected as an MEP on her third try, in 2013, on the ticket of Malta’s Nationalist Party.

Born in Malta in 1979, Roberta Metsola who has been an MEP since 2013, is the youngest EP President ever elected. She became First Vice-President in November 2020, and was Parliament’s acting President after President Sassoli passed away on 11 January. She is the third female President of the European Parliament, after Simone Veil (1979-1982) and Nicole Fontaine (1999- 2002).

Addressing the House immediately after she was elected, President Metsola said: “The first thing I would like to do as President is to think about David Sassoli’s legacy: he was a fighter; he fought for Europe and for us, for this Parliament. […] I will honour David Sassoli as President by always standing up for Europe, for our common values of democracy, dignity, justice, solidarity, equality, the rule of law, and fundamental rights”.

“I want people to recapture a sense of belief and enthusiasm for our project. […] Dear Europeans, in the next years, people across Europe will look to our institution for leadership and direction, while others will continue to test the limits of our democratic values and European principles. We must fight back against the anti-EU narrative that takes hold so easily and so quickly. Disinformation and misinformation, further amplified during the pandemic, fuel easy cynicism and cheap solutions of nationalism, authoritarianism, protectionism, isolationism”, she added.

President Metsola underlined that “Europe is about precisely the opposite. It is about all of us standing up for one another, bringing our people closer together. It is about all of us defending those principles of our founding mothers and fathers that led us from the ashes of war and holocaust to peace, to hope, and to prosperity. Twenty-two years ago, Nicole Fontaine was elected 20 years after Simone Veil. It will not be another two decades until the next woman is standing here”, she said.

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