The Christian Democrat EPP group has elected Roberta Metsola as a candidate to become President of the European Parliament. Metsola defeated her Dutch colleague Esther de Lange in the first round of voting with a two-thirds majority.
In January, the by-election of Italian Social Democrat David Sassoli is on the agenda. It is not yet known whether Sassoli will stand for re-election or whether the S&D will come up with another candidate for the second half of the board term.
Group leader Manfred Weber said the EPP is ready to negotiate with liberal coalition partner Renew about adjustments to the coalition agreement agreed in 2019, hoping to win their support for the presidency. He also called on the S&D to stick to the agreement made in 2019 that the EPP would take over the presidency, and not to come up with its own candidate.
Initially, it was the intention that Weber himself would take over the chairmanship of the parliament in the interim, but he recently announced that he wants to invest more time and energy in strengthening European Christian democracy, and also in German politics. Asked by reporters if he is preparing to return to German politics, Weber said his future lies in Europe.
Metsola said in an initial response that she was honored to have been given a strong mandate from the EPP Group. “The second half of this parliamentary term will be crucial for Europe – I will work hard to continue to build bridges with other political groups, to advance important laws and bring decision-making closer to the people in each Member State.”
The Maltese politician has been one of the Vice-Presidents of the European Parliament since 2019, and she has regularly replaced Sassoli. When asked what she will do differently from Sassoli, she said she has previously supported recommendations to allow interruptions in plenary sessions. She also wants to allow more debates in committees and plenary parliament, instead of making statements.
According to Weber, she will be the face of a strong, modern and more visible European Parliament. “And, yes, we also think it's high time the next President of the European Parliament was a woman!” he emphasized.