[WATCH] History is made as Metsola elected First Vice-President of the European Parliament

First Maltese to hold position of First Vice-President is Roberta Metsola

File photo. Roberta Metsola will be the First Vice-President of the European Parliament
File photo. Roberta Metsola will be the First Vice-President of the European Parliament

In a first for Malta and Gozo, Roberta Metsola has been elected to the office of First Vice-President of the European Parliament, becoming the first Maltese person to hold one of the top jobs within the European institution.

This makes her the highest-ranking Maltese ever within the European Parliament.

And like many of her predecessors, the powerful position could also be a prelude to Metsola having a shoo-in to be a European Parliament president in the next years.

The Nationalist MEP, 41, was in Valletta as the result of the election was announced. “It is a tremendous honour to have been elected as First Vice-President and to have done so with such strong support from Members of the European Parliament.”

Metsola was nominated by the EPP for the post, and all political groups agreed to the nomination, meaning Metsola was elected by unanimous acclamation.

As First Vice-President, Roberta Metsola will support and replace the President of the European Parliament, the Italian David Sassoli, in first instance should he be absent or unavailable to discharge his duties, including chairing plenary sittings or representing Parliament at specific ceremonies.

There are fourteen Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament who sit in for the President in presiding over the plenary of the European Parliament. The vice-presidents are elected following the election of the president, which takes place every two and a half years. Metsola’s election follows the resignation of Irish MP Mairead McGuinness, who was appointed European Commissioner.

The institutional role, which is not a partisan one, holds several high-level responsibilities related to the external representation of the European Parliament, the negotiation of legislation with the European Commission and the European Council.

Nationalist Party leader Bernard Grech congratulated Metsola on her appointment. "This is an appointment that raises our country's name in European forums and this is the way the Nationalist Party wants our country's name to be named - for the right things and to pay tribute to us," he said.

Il-ħatra ta’ Roberta Metsola bħala Viċi President tal-Parlament Ewropew hija rikonoxximent tax-xogħol importanti li ilha...

Posted by Bernard Grech on Thursday, November 12, 2020

President George Vella also congratulated the VP-elect in a tweet.

In an initial reaction, Vice-President Metsola said: “This is a role that I look forward to and I am determined to use the new responsibilities I am afforded to continue to be a strong voice for European citizens, for Malta and for Gozo and continue to work to build bridges across the political divide.

“We have to hit the ground running.  With the economic and health recovery from the COVID pandemic; terror threats; the BREXIT negotiations; a new President in the United States of America; the situation in Belarus; continued migration challenges and a new rule of law framework all high on the agenda – I, together with President Sassoli and other MEPs,  will continue to do our part to ensure that the European Parliament remains a strong link between citizens and the European decision making process.”