The European Parliament has lived this afternoon one of its saddest days with the farewell in Strasbourg of the late president David Sassoli, in a session chaired by the Maltese conservative Roberta Metsola, until last week First Vice President and who will be elected president this Tuesday after the agreement reached yesterday between socialists, liberals and popular.
Metsola, 42 years old and with clear anti-abortion positions, will become the third woman to preside over the European Parliament, thus joining the French Simone Veil, -after the first direct elections to Parliament in 1979- and Nicole Fontaine. Together with Metsola, the Swedish company also applied Alice Bah Kuhnke (Greens), Polish Kosma Zlotowski (Conservatives) and the Spanish Sira Rego (United Left).
The group of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) He confirmed his support on Monday through social networks, announcing the pact with the EPP and the Liberals (Renew Europe) to “guarantee a stable majority until the 2024 elections.”
We’ve reached a deal with @EPPGroup & @RenewEurope to ensure a stable working majority until 2024 elections: strong institutional representation for S&D MEPs and we have agreed on a working document with our priorities: rule of law, women’s rights, social dimension & fiscal rules
— S&D Group (@TheProgressives) January 17, 2022
But before the election, European political figures such as the former Italian ‘premier’ and MEP, Enrico Letta, a close friend of Sassoli, the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, and the French president, Emmanuel Macron (at the head of the rotating presidency of the Council), have dismissed with emotional speeches a figure who humanized the European Parliament in the worst moments of the pandemic. Although his intervention was planned, the president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen had to cancel it at the last minute due to the positive of his driver, so he had to return to Brussels.
As part of the institution’s rules, the vote to elect a new president of the European Parliament was already planned before Sassoli’s sudden death last week. In the last legislatures, socialists and popular have alternated their respective candidates in the presidency of the European Parliament.
To be elected, Metsola needs an absolute majority of the valid votes in this Tuesday’s session (50% of the votes plus one, secret ballot), which due to the pandemic will have to be carried out electronically. If after three rounds no candidate has achieved an absolute majority, the two candidates with the most votes in the third round will participate in a fourth and final round. The candidate with the most votes wins the election.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism