Metsola wins EPP nomination for European Parliament vice-president

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola could be in line for powerful role of European Parliament vice-president 

Roberta Metsola
Roberta Metsola

Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola could be in line for the powerful role of European Parliament vice-president, after she was nominated by the European People's Party for the post.

A final vote for the post of the EP's vice-president between all group nominations now takes place in Novemnber.

She won the nomination by a resounding 65% of the secret ballot, seeing off the MEP Seán Kelly, after the job was vacated by new European Commissioner Mairead McGuinness.

If successful, the vice-presidency of the European Parliament will be a very powerful post for an MEP from the smallest members state of the EU.

Vice-Presidents can replace the President when necessary, including to chair plenary sittings. They are also members of the European Parliament Bureau, which lays down rules for Parliament’s smooth functioning. Among its other duties the Bureau draws up Parliament’s preliminary draft budget and decides on administrative, staff and organisational matters.

The previous EP vice-president, Mairead McGuinness, has now been appointed as Ireland’s nomination for European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union. The Fine Gael MEP was was elected Vice-President of the European Parliament, where she oversaw the parliament’s information policy, press and citizens relations.

Metsola was named as one of the top five most influential MEPs across Europe in the field of democracy and home affairs.

She is currently the LIBE (civil liberties committee) coordinator for the EPP and author of major legislation on migration.

The Nationalist MEP ranked second in the Votewatch index and joined European heavyweights like the socialist Juan Fernardo Lopez Aguilar and liberal Sophie In’t Veldt.

The data-driven VoteWatch index measuresdMEPs’ ability to change laws and shape debates, and define public conversation. Metsola’s ranking formed part of a vast portfolio of issues that comprises civil liberties, rule of law and migration, as well as gender policies.

Metsola is the coordinator of the LIBE on behalf of the Euorpean People’s Party, and co-chair of the Anti-Corruption intergroup and a member of the intergroups on anti-Racism, LGBTI, diversity and children’s rights.

She is also the rapporteur on dossiers aimed at cooperation on combating cross-border crime and terrorism and has drafted dossiers on FADO (False and Authentic Documents Online), Frontex and the European Border and Coast Guard. “Her role on these topics is rather important, considering the delicate position of Malta is one of the main entry points for asylum seekers coming from North-Africa. Previously, Metsola was one of the vice-chairs of the PETI committee, which also deals with the transparency of EU institutions,” VoteWatch said.

Maltese MEPs, just six in a parliament of 736, punch above their weight in general, wielding the most political influence, proportionally; and followed by Spain, Luxembourg and Germany. Irish MEPs come out top for average social influence, followed by Spain, France and Belgium.