Roberta Metsola

President of the European Parliament

Roberta Metsola, the President of the single directly elected political institution of the European Union (EU), demonstrated extraordinary political leadership to advance the European project and women’s rights. The President is a standard bearer for women’s rights, a leader in reinforcing European values, and an advocate for enlarging the Union.
First, President Metsola publicly advocates for women’s rights. In her speech from last Women’s Day, titled ‘Every girl should grow up knowing that the sky is the limit,’ she explains her convictions to political leaders and the public.

Second, the President champions the European value of transparency. On the one hand, she responded to a corruption scandal not by pretending it was a one-off but by pushing for ever higher standards of transparency laid down in written rules for the Parliament. Crucially, she walks the walk and abides by the transparency initiatives she argues for herself. On the other hand, she enthusiastically welcomes public attention to her work. Offering 1000 politics students at Leiden University to “ask anything” is a courageous gesture done well - not even the otherwise highly critical Politico news outlet could criticise her willingness to engage with challenging questions earnestly.

Third, Madame Metsola actively pushes for enlarging the Union and helping European values gain popularity in EU candidate countries. In her words, “When a country looks at the European Union as its home, then my position is always the European Union should fling its doors wide open.” President Metsola’s demonstrated commitment to women’s rights and the European project will continue - she would not have it any other way. Moreover, she will most likely do so from a high European office for the foreseeable future. In short, President Metsola uses her power to fulfill an immense responsibility to contribute to the European project and advance women’s rights. President Metsola stands firmly for those who choose to be European, as shown by her unwavering commitment to supporting Ukraine. The President uses her political power and even risks her life while delivering on this mission. She actively advocates for more ammunition for Ukraine to defend itself. Madame Metsola also pushes for Ukrainian EU membership, reassuring a country at war that they have powerful European allies. Last but not least, she showed remarkable bravery when she traveled to Kyiv under siege very early in the invasion - when uncertainty still abounded about whether Ukraine could repel attacks from invaders.