Nationalist MEP David Casa has given up his role as quaestor of the European Parliament to make it possible for colleague Roberta Metsola to enter the race to become the next European Parliament president.
Casa, who was elected to the role in July 2019, had at the time secured the highest-ranking European Parliament post of any Maltese MEP. Now, as Metsola gears up to bid to become the European People’s Party (EPP) candidate for the president role, Casa has relinquished his role to enable her to do so.
Parliament rules state it is not politically possible to have another member of the Bureau, which, as quaestor, Casa formed part of, from the same political group and from the same member state.
“One of the things I promised during the referendum campaign on whether Malta should join the EU or not, was that, when it comes to decision-making, Malta will have a seat at the table just like all the other big member states," he said.
"Today, we stand a chance not only of having a seat at the table but having the main seat at the head table.
“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 said.
The MEP added that “politics is not about individuals but about what benefits Malta and all the Maltese and Gozitan people”.
Describing Metsola as a “phenomenal politician”, Casa said her bid is “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, following Metsola’s announcement, Labour MEP Alex Agius Saliba said he will be backing her bid for the presidency.
Metsola will contest the EPP’s internal election on Wednesday and, if successful, will be the group’s candidate for the presidency in January.