Roberta Metsola was elected President of the European Parliament this Tuesday, January 18, 2022. A conservative candidate with positions marked on the right.
Conservative MP Roberta Metsola, known for her anti-abortion stance, was elected president of the European Parliament on Tuesday to replace Italian socialist David Sassoli, who died a week ago at the age of 65.
Third woman at the head of Europe
Roberta Metsola, the third woman elected at the head of the European assembly after the French Simone Veil and Nicole Fontaine, obtained 458 votes out of 705. She previously held the position of first vice-president of the institution. Elected on her 43rd birthday, she becomes the youngest president in the history of the European Parliament, since its members were first elected by direct universal suffrage in 1979.
David Sassoli should have left his post this week, halfway through his five-year term, in application of a power-sharing agreement between his group, the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the popular European to which belongs Roberta Metsola. “The MEP @RobertaMetsola has just been elected President of the European Parliament. She will fight for a better Europe closer to the people”, welcomed the EPP on Twitter.
Neither the S&D group nor the centrist group Renew Europe, of which French President Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche is a member, had presented a candidate.
“It bothers me, the symbol of his election”
The election of the MEP from Malta Roberta Metsola, known for her anti-abortion positions, at the head of the European Parliament would be an embarrassing symbol but would not change anything on the merits and the defense by Europe of women’s rights, had estimated the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune, on Tuesday.
Roberta Metsola, a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), the conservative group in the Strasbourg Parliament, was the big favorite to succeed Italian socialist David Sassoli on Tuesday, who died a week ago at the age of 65, at the head of the assembly of 705 members.
“I tell you very sincerely, it bothers me, the symbol of his election”, confided Clément Beaune to the microphone of France Info.
“On the merits, there is no debate”, he however underlined, recalling that he had always defended “very vocally” the rights of women in Poland or LGBT rights in Europe.
“This is an opportunity, since this message is not good, to go further, to say that we will fight even more for the recognition of abortion rights throughout Europe, to say that we will support the rights of women, the rights of minorities everywhere in Europe, that the French Presidency will take additional initiatives to sanction attacks on the rule of law”, added the French Secretary of State.