Who will succeed David Sassoli as head of the European Parliament?

Answer this Tuesday: the Parliamentarians will elect whoever will take the chair of the Italian, who died on January 11 and whose mandate ended this week.

And the post could go to Maltese conservative Roberta Metsola, despite her opposition to abortion.

This member of the right-wing group of the EPP, the first political force in Parliament is therefore the favorite to take the reins until the summer of 2024. She will be opposed to the Spaniard Sira Rego (radical left), the Pole Kosma Zlotowski (ECR, eurosceptics) and Sweden's Alice Bah Kuhnke (the Greens).

Each of them will briefly defend their vision this Tuesday morning, before the vote.

The presidency as a birthday present?

MEP since 2013 and Vice-President of Parliament since 2020, Roberta Metsola, who, coincidentally, turns 43 on Tuesday, had recently gained visibility by acting as David Sassoli.

But this mother of 4 children has also drawn criticism from some of her colleagues: in question, her anti-abortion convictions, a very widespread opinion in Malta, the last EU country where abortion remains completely illegal. Aware of the reservations she has aroused, she assured that in the event of an election, her "duty will be to represent the position of Parliament", including on sexual and reproductive rights.

A usual alternation

According to a tradition, an alternation between left and right has almost always taken place for the mid-term elections to the European Parliament. Roberta Metsola was initially to benefit from the agreement reached between the three main political forces EPP, S&D (social democrats) and Renew Europe (centrists and liberals): the groups had agreed in 2019 to line up behind the candidacy of the socialist Sassoli , and for an EPP candidate to take over for the second half of the legislature.

But given its recent electoral successes, particularly in Germany, the S&D group questioned its support. The three groups finally reached a new agreement on Monday, around a political declaration mentioning several priorities, including the fight against violence against women and for gender equality, the reform of European taxation and the implementation place of a minimum wage directive.

To win, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of the votes cast by secret ballot.

If no absolute majority emerges after three ballots, a fourth round is organized with the two candidates having received the most votes in the previous round.

The chairman has a certain number of powers, in particular that of ruling on the admissibility of texts and amendments submitted to the vote of the meeting, in addition to the conduct of debates.

He also represents the institution at the European summits of the Twenty-Seven.

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