Roberta Metsola top MEP in ‘most influential’ rankings

Top 100 rankings for Metsola and Alex Agius Saliba in EUMatrix: ‘Maltese delegation punch above their weight’

European Parliament President Roberta Metsola
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola

An analysis has measured the influence MEPs have exerted over EU policy since 2019, finding the Maltese delegation of six MEPs once again punching well above their weight given the small number of representatives.

When taken as a whole, delegations from large countries such as Germany, France, or Italy would obviously exert more influence than smaller countries’ delegations made up of only a few MEPs.

While Nationalist MEP and Euorpean Parliament president Roberta Metsola was easily the most influential MEP since 2019, being a key legislator on strengthening democracy, media freedom and pluralism in the EU, the Maltese delegation was said to have punched above its weight the most from among the small countries, being able to get more leadership positions or legislative files than their delegation size would normally allow.

Alex Agius Saliba
Alex Agius Saliba

“Two Maltese MEPs are in the top 100 most influential MEPs, namely EP President Roberta Metsola and S&D Vice-Chair Alex Agius Saliba,” EUmatrix said.

Proportionally speaking, Malta has the second top overall influence score. “Notably, Maltese MEPs have the strongest representation in leadership positions and the strongest networks. They are also punching above their weight on legislative matters,” EUmatrix said.

The Maltese performed well across most issues, being especially influential on digital matters, followed by green-focused issues such as environment and energy, as well as varied topics including health, employment and social policy – with a top 20 MEP being David Casa – finance, where a top 20 was Alfred Sant – and EU institutions.

Agius Saliba and fellow MEP Josianne Cutajar also made the top 40-under-40 ranking.

There are some exceptions, as the Maltese have more limited influence on topics such as agriculture, trade and foreign affairs.

“The Maltese political scene is rather stable, which tends to have a positive impact on the Maltese influence at the EU level. One of the key questions is whether Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola will be able to retain its leadership of the legislative institution. A second mandate will depend on the negotiations on the political leadership of the EU institutions,” EUmatrix said.

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While according to the current projections, the EPP is likely to be in a relatively strong position in the next political mandate, the centre-right political family won’t be able to claim all leadership positions for itself. “Regardless of the outcome of such a process, we expect Maltese MEPs to be able to leverage their positions within the key EPP and S&D groups to keep punching above their weight when influencing decisions in the next European Parliament.”

The EPP is the most influential group when taken as a whole, also because it is the largest one in the current European Parliament.

S&D and EPP members still have an edge when it comes to their network, also due to the bigger seniority of their MEP. Greens/EFA MEPs also tend to perform relatively well proportionally speaking, which confirms the more central role that this group played in this Parliamentary term. 

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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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