'The young gun': Metsola makes it to Politico’s Class of 2024

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola listed among the 28 most powerful people shaping politics and policy next year

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola

European Parliament President and Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has been selected among Politico’s Class of 2024.

The EP President is listed among the 28 most powerful people shaping politics and policy next year. This year’s ranking revolves around a central theme: ‘Can Europe’s moderates drive back the fringes?’

Explaining the reason behind her selection, Politico says Metsola took control of the European Parliament at a difficult moment: a month before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine and just a week after the death of the institution’s former President David Sassoli

“At the time, questions were raised about the Maltese politician’s youth (43 when she took on the post, Metsola was the youngest-ever Parliament president) and her stance on abortion (in Malta, the procedure is still illegal in most cases). But over the past two years, Metsola has steered the institution through turbulent times and positioned herself as a credible candidate for a second term,” the piece reads.

“Metsola came out of the gates strong, becoming the first president of an EU institution to visit Ukraine after Vladimir Putin launched his lethal invasion (and strongly championing the war-struck country’s efforts to join the EU since). The trendsetting move earned her kudos in Kyiv, and seriously boosted Metsola’s public profile — not an easy achievement for a Maltese politician who has spent most of her working life in Brussels. Metsola has also been on a mission to get young people to care about EU elections.

“The lawmaker, who first tried (and failed) to become an MEP in her mid-20s, has toured the EU, seeking to connect to young crowds — and her rock-star reception in some quarters has driven rumours that she could be angling to switch from one top EU job to another (assuming Ursula von der Leyen doesn’t get a second term in the Commission presidency),” Politico says.

“Perhaps Metsola’s most challenging mission has been to steer her institution through the Qatargate scandal the year before the EU election, amid lurid revelations that MEPs allegedly took bribes from Qatar and Morocco. In response to the saga, Metsola proposed a list of (modest) reforms to beef up transparency and integrity rules, which MEPs recently largely green-lit. Don’t expect that to be the end of it: Euroskeptics now have piles of mud to fling during the EU election, when they will seek to cast Brussels as hopelessly corrupt.”

The full list can be accessed here.

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This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The action was co-financed by the European Union in the frame of the European Parliament's grant programme in the field of communication. The European Parliament was not involved in its preparation and is, in no case, responsible for or bound by the information or opinions expressed in the context of this action. In accordance with applicable law, the authors, interviewed people, publishers or programme broadcasters are solely responsible. The European Parliament can also not be held liable for direct or indirect damage that may result from the implementation of the action.

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