The Malta Independent 7 June 2023, Wednesday
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Metsola looking forward to working in best interests of Europe, Malta

Sabrina Zammit Tuesday, 18 January 2022, 14:17 Last update: about 2 years ago

Newly-elected European Parliament President MEP Roberta Metsola said that she and Prime Minister Robert Abela had agreed to work together on issues that concern both Malta and Europe.

Addressing her first press conference shortly after becoming the third woman to hold the position, Metsola said she always looks forward and not backwards and that today’s result in her being elected as president of the EP means that they can look forward.

Metsola has often been the target of insults from Labour Party supporters who have described her as working against Malta’s interests. But Abela, ahead of the vote, said that what happened in the past should not affect the relationship that the government looked forward to with Metsola as EP President.

Metsola said it is an honour for Malta that someone from a small country was elected to the post. On this matter, she thanked all her colleagues, especially fellow PN MEP David Casa.

Speaking about migration and the Dublin Regulation, which is an EU law stating that the country where asylum seekers first arrive is bound to help them, Metsola said that although these are critical issues, as president, she will wait for the results of a report being drawn up by a committee set up to see to such matters.

Asked about the situation in Ukraine, Metsola said she wanted the EP to continue to send a strong message of unity and solidarity. She added that the situation in Belarus is very concerning.

Mentioning the late former president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, she said she would continue to honour his memory by being faithful and true to his principles.

Speaking about the divided situation in Cyprus, she said that the EP had strongly spoken when Turkey began to display and threaten the use of military force, and they will continue to take this course of action.

Endorsing Sassoli’s assessment of the ‘cruel inflexibility’ of current legislatures when addressing plans for financial recovery, she noted that there need to be regulations that ensure better transparency to ensure no abuse of power. She added that the EP would continue to push such a position whilst working with every member state.

On the topic of abortion, when asked to interpret the position of the new House she represents, she said that the EP has always been clear on the issues of sexual and reproductive rights. She said that they recently voted against gender-based violence and she is committed to working this way.

Commenting on concerns raised by the present audience about the rule of law, she said that the EP itself is one which endorses rule of law and that there must be obligations that member states abide by to continue to promote a certain standard.

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