Does Metsola plan to stay on as EP president? A journalist asked her...

Her answer: “I don’t like to talk about myself...”

Roberta Metsola taking questions at the 1 February EU Summit
Roberta Metsola taking questions at the 1 February EU Summit

Malta’s Roberta Metsola has enjoyed wide mass appeal and cross-party support in her election as President of the European Parliament, and the rumour mill has been in overdrive about what her next plans are.

Early on it was a nod from EPP leader Manfred Weber as suitable ‘spitzenkandidat’ material for the European centre-right, which often carries expectations that the winning lead candidate in a European election gets to be picked president of the European Commission.

Her options to return to Malta as leader of the Nationalist Party remain wide open, if only spoken about on very speculative terms.

As the June elections for the European Parliament beckon, it appears Metsola is partial to stay on as president of the institution – at least, in her answer to a question from a journalist at the special EU summit last week, she was not inclined to say anything categorical about her plans.

So does she want to stay on as President of the EP, asked AFP’s Europe reporter Christian Spillman earlier this week?

Her answer: “I don’t like to talk about myself...”

Metsola instead said she was intent on focusing on bringing out the vote across the EU’s member states with trips to each country, where she is meeting not just national authorities but also young people.

“We’re very proud of the democratic process in our member states... and the big challenge we have is encouraging people to vote,” she told the press.

“If you see the situation today with farmers, this is a major responsibility we have as well. We need to talk with all sectors and the people who want us to solve their problems. And that’s what I’m going to focus on the next five months.”

The future power line-up in Brussels is typically shared between the major political blocs: Politico believes Ursula von der Leyen too will stay as Commission chief, while

Mette Frederiksen, the current prime minister of Denmark, takes over as president of the European Council, and and Kaja Kallas, the Estonian PM, becomes the EU’s foreign policy chief. In this apportionment of the leadership cake, the Commission and the Parliament would remain in the hands of the European People’s Party – the latter for at least the first two-and-a-half years of the mandate – when the EPP could pass the presidency to another party; the socialists would get the European Council, and the liberals would run the External Action Service, the EU’s diplomatic arm.

This would also see the east having a leader with Kallas, the west with von der Leyen, the north with Frederiksen, and the south would have Metsola.

What is certain is that not a few MEPs in the various political groups in Brussels feel Metsola deserves the mandate a second time, just like the precedent set by former socialist MEP Martin Schulz.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

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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