Casa makes room for Metsola’s bid for top job by relinquishing quaestor role

Roberta Metsola running for EPP’s nomination as candidate for European Parliament president, faces candidatures of Esther de Lange and Othmar

David Casa and Roberta Metsola were both elected coordinators of their respective committees at the European Parliament
David Casa and Roberta Metsola were both elected coordinators of their respective committees at the European Parliament

Nationalist MEP David Casa will give up his role as quaestor of the European Parliament, in a move intended at ‘reducing’ the Maltese delegation inside top EPP posts so that colleague Roberta Metsola is nominated to be the next European Parliament president.

Casa was elected to the role in July 2019, securing the highest-ranking European Parliament post for any Maltese MEP.

Yet he now relinquishes this role in a bid to assuage fears of a Maltese concentration in top EPP posts so that Roberta Metsola secures the party’s nomination for candidate to the European Parliament.

Metsola could be the woman to break another glass ceiling in Brussels

Simon Busuttil, the former MEP and former Opposition leader, is also secretary-general of the EPP group in the European Parliament.

Metsola will contest the EPP’s internal election on Wednesday and, if successful, will be the group’s candidate for the presidency in January.

“When Roberta approached me about the possibility of contesting the election to become the new EP president, even though it meant that I would have to relinquish my quaestor role within parliament’s Bureau, I immediately offered her my full support. This is not about me or Roberta. This is about Malta being a leader in European politics,” Casa told The Times.

Politically, Casa’s relinquishing of the role is expected because Metsola’s election would see two members of the Bureau, which as quaestor Casa forms part of, from the same political group and from the same member state.

Casa described Metsola as a “phenomenal politician” whose bid was “one in a million chance” for the smallest member state’s representative to lead an EU institution.

“I am proud to have done my part to give Roberta the best chance to, first, get the EPP Group’s candidacy and then, hopefully, be our new EP president. It is a huge honour for our country and I have no doubt that she will do us proud”.

Last week, Austrian MEP Othmar Karas became the first EPP member to put his name forward for the Parliament presidency. Esther de Lange, 46, a longtime Dutch Christian Democrat Party member, also announced her candidature on Monday.

The most serious obstacle to Metsola’s victory would be if the Parliament’s Socialists and Democrats (S&D) group sticks to a refusal to let the EPP take over the Parliament presidency and stands by its support for Sassoli. Sassoli was expected to stand aside when his term ended so the conservative EPP could take over.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

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 European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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