Roberta Metsola’s speech on the 1st of March

We are here today in the dark shadow cast by Putin’s war. A war we did not provoke. A war we did not start. An outrageous invasion of a sovereign, independent State. On behalf of the European Parliament, I condemn the Russian military aggression against Ukraine in the strongest possible terms and express my solidarity with all those suffering and all those killed. The message from Europe is clear: We will stand up. We will not look away when those fighting in the streets for our values face down Putin’s massive war machine……

Roberta Tedesco Triccas Metsola

Roberta Tedesco Triccas, born in 1979, grew up with her parents and two sisters in Gżira She studied at St Joseph School in Sliema, St Aloysius’ College sixth form, and she graduated in law from the University of Malta in 2003 and obtained a diploma in European studies from the College of Europe in Bruges in 2004.

In 2002, Roberta was appointed as Secretary-General for the European Democrat Student organization, a role she occupied while reading for a Doctor of Laws course at the University of Malta. In her student years, she was highly active in various organizations, acting as the Secretary-General for the European Democrat Student organization between 2002-2003. She graduated in 2003, the same year Malta decided to join the European Union.

Roberta furthered her studies in European Law at the College of Europe in Bruges. At the age of 25, while still studying, Roberta contested Malta’s first European Parliament elections. She was not elected. Roberta Metsola is no stranger to failure. She only managed to get elected to the European Parliament in 2013 after failing twice.

In October 2004 Metsola joined the Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union in Brussels, headed by Richard Cachia Caruana, where she worked for 8 years as legal and judicial cooperation attaché, also participating for Malta in the negotiations of the Lisbon Treaty and working on files such as the set-up of the European Asylum Support Office in Malta. She run again for the 2009 European elections, without being elected.

Roberta Tedesco Triccas and her Finnish husband Ukko Metsola first met in the year 1999 and married in October 2005. They both ran for the 2009 European Parliament election, becoming the first married couple to run in the same European Parliament election from two different member states. Ukko Metsola has been married to Roberta Metsola for almost 16 years now. Ukko is born Finnish. He is currently working for the CLIA, as an Industry Award Assessor. He is a graduate of the University of Helsinki and Harvard Kennedy School.

Professionally, Metsola is a lawyer who has specialized in European law and politics. She served within the Permanent Representation of Malta to the European Union from 2004 to 2012 as Malta’s Legal and Judicial Cooperation Attaché and Head of the Justice and Home Affairs Unit there. Following that, she joined the team of the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, as a legal advisor. She left that role to fill the vacant seat of current Opposition Leader in Malta, Simon Busuttil, as an MEP within the EPP Group

Roberta Metsola was first elected to the European Parliament in 2013, becoming one of Malta’s first female Members of the European Parliament. She was re-elected as an MEP with a record amount of votes for a female candidate in 2014. Professionally she is a lawyer who has specialized in European law and politics.

In 2014 Metsola led the EPP representation in LIBE in the work on the non-binding EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, she also co-authored a non-binding report on the European migrant crisis in 2016,

In 2019, during the controversies following the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, she famously refused to shake hands with Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat at a meeting with the Members of European Parliament from Malta. «If he thinks he can try to brush off responsibility he is sorely mistaken. Get out now, before you do irreparable damage to the country», she wrote.
As a member of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, she has defended the right to asylum in the EU. Following the murder of her countrywoman, journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, Metsola has been calling on the Maltese government to ensure media freedom and fight corruption.

When On 12 November 2020, Roberta Metsola was elected as the First Vice-President of the European Parliament at 23 years,, she said
“It is a tremendous honour to have been elected First Vice-President. I will continue to be a strong voice for European citizens and for Malta and continue to work to build bridges across the political divide.”

In November 2021, Metsola was chosen as EPP candidate to succeed David Sassoli as President of the European Parliament on the expiry of his term as president in January 2022. Sassoli had been hospitalised with pneumonia in September 2021 and in December announced that he would not seek a second term as president, making Metsola his likely successor. Following further hospitalisation, Sassoli died on 11 January 2022, one week before the end of his term. On Sassoli’s death, Metsola became the acting President of the European Parliament.

On 18 January 2022, on her 43rd birthday, Metsola was elected President of the European Parliament for a two-and-a-half-year term. She was elected in the first round of voting, receiving an absolute majority of 458 votes out of the 690 cast. On her election, Metsola became the youngest ever President,the first Maltese person to hold the office, and the first woman President since 2002 (and only third woman president ever).

Ukko Metsola and Roberta Metsola are parents to four children. Their sons are Luca, Alec, Marc, and Kristian. The eldest son is currently running in his teens while their youngest boy is four years of age.
“I am a mother of four boys – the eldest is now a teenager, the youngest is four Despite all the advances in childcare and flexible working, the truth is that my husband and I would not be able to raise a family and have a career without the help we have– and I am determined to do what I can in the time I have in politics to make it easier for other parents