Just one day after being elected president of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola has promised to sign a liberal pact that guarantees women's access to abortion and contraceptives in the EU.

The Simone Veil pact will in no way legalise abortion in Malta, but it is the result of efforts by the Renew Group MEPs to provide women all over Europe with "human dignity and human rights", including safe and accessible abortion.

Metsola pledged to sign the pact after meeting French President Emanuel Macron on Wednesday, as he visited the EU Parliament in Strasbourg to kick off his country's rotating presidency.

Macron said he would push to have the right to abortion and defence of the environment added to the EU's Charter of Fundamental Rights.

"We must update this charter to be more explicit on protection of the environment and the recognition of the right to abortion," Macron told lawmakers in Strasbourg.

"Let us open up this debate freely with our fellow citizens... to breathe new life into the pillar of law that forges this Europe of strong values," he said.

On Tuesday, Metsola was inundated with questions from the international press about her stance against abortion. In her responses, she insisted that as president of the EU parliament, she will take the parliament's stance. 

Macron congratulated Metsola on her election in his opening remarks, acknowledging her belief in "our Europe, this Europe sustained by the values that bind and unite us".

He also urged lawmakers to accept "this task of ours, and surely of our generation, to respond profoundly to the renewal of its promises".

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