The plenary session of the European Parliament to be held this week in Strasbourg is special in several respects: as France has just taken over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union for six months, this session will be the occasion for a debate between MEPs and French President Emmanuel Macron on the priorities of the French Presidency of the EU.
The challenges ahead are immense. France’s experience and influence are major assets for advancing fundamental issues such as the fight against climate change, the security of our continent, the reform of migration policy and the regulation of the Internet. In these areas, we expect more than grand declarations. The EPP Group, which has been at the forefront in initiating the legislative work and carrying out these reforms, will be there to support concrete progress, in the interest of European citizens.
This week, MEPs will also elect the new members of the Bureau of the European Parliament, including their new President, for the next two and a half years, even though we are still in shock at the death of the President of our Institution, David Sassoli.
A warm personality, a convinced European, David Sassoli was deeply aware of what EU membership had brought to Italy, and what Italy could bring to Europe. Close to the people, he never ceased to play the role of a link between Europe and its citizens, managing to keep our Institution alive, even in the midst of a pandemic.
It is therefore a European Parliament in mourning that will elect David Sassoli’s successor on Tuesday, and we will make sure that we prove ourselves worthy of his memory.
My group, the EPP, will continue to work to ensure that the European Parliament is a source of inspiration and that every citizen knows that their voice counts in Brussels and Strasbourg.
The European Parliament, for me, is still the liveliest and most vibrant of all the European Institutions and I still feel the same pride each time I enter the hemicycle, the beating heart of European parliamentary democracy.
Our candidate Roberta Metsola will be the youngest President in the history of our Parliament.
Through her exemplary career and her commitment, she will be able to give a strong voice to our Institution and embody a modern Parliament, resolutely turned towards the future – a Parliament where a young woman from the smallest Member State of the European Union can become President.
I am proud that once again, as during the election of the College of Commissioners, it is my political family that is in the driving seat, carrying the winds of change and the fight for gender equality in Europe.