It is difficult enough for a family to cope with the hectic pace of life during an electoral campaign when one of its members is contesting an election. Imagine a scenario where both parents of two young children are running for a seat - not only in different constituencies, but also in different countries thousands of kilometres apart.

This is the challenge facing the Metsola Tedesco Triccas family as both Roberta and her Finnish husband Ukko will be vying for a seat in the European Parliament in June's elections.

This fact alone is already making history as it is the first time a married couple are contesting the European elections in two member states.

For Nationalist Party candidate Roberta, this will be her second attempt. In 2004, she managed to gain 5,205 first-count votes.

Things have changed since 2004. Apart from getting married in 2005 and moving to Brussels to work as an expert on Justice and Home Affairs at Malta's Permanent Representation to the EU, she is now also the mother of two young boys - Luca, who will soon celebrate his second birthday, and Alec, just seven months old.

For her 35-year-old husband, Ukko Metsola, this will be the first election. However, he is not new to Finnish politics.

Having worked at the Finnish Parliament and at the Office of the Prime Minister in Helsinki, Ukko knows the Finnish political system well. He has been involved in politics since he was young, chairing the European Democrat Students organisation.

The public affairs consultant will be running on behalf of the Council for the National Coalition Party, known in Finland as Kokoomus and considered to be the biggest EU party in Finland. Its four MEPs in Brussels form part of the European People's Party group, the same political family as the PN.

Politics is what got the two together - they met when Ukko was participating in a Studenti Demokristjani Maltin event in Malta in 1999.

"We met in politics and grew up in politics, so for us this is a natural step. Running together in different countries is an experience and has introduced a certain humour and good natured rivalry.

We are not competing directly, but we do joke about who will win in our family, Malta or Finland," Roberta said.

Although Ukko and Roberta will be making good use of the webcamera until the June elections, they will still find time to be together.

"Though we are running very busy schedules, meeting constituents, we still managed to set dates for us to be together in Malta at very frequent intervals," Ukko said.

Roberta added: "The family for us comes first, and with this I mean also the extended family who will be giving us a helping hand in raising our children over the next few months."

Asked what it will be like if they both end up as MEPs, the couple answer with a laugh: "It will surely mean that there's a good Maltese-Finnish alliance in Brussels!"

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