Nationalist MEP Roberta Metsola has landed the first vice-president of the European Parliament (EP) role after her nomination was approved on Thursday.

While no other submissions were made for the role, her nomination received no objections from political parties across the EP.

Dr Metsola now occupies the most senior role ever occupied by a Maltese MEP and is the second most senior MEP among all 705 MEPs.

The EP has 14 vice-presidents who can replace the president in performing duties when necessary.

Dr Metsola was nominated by the European People’s Party (EPP), which she is a member of and is the EU political grouping the Nationalist Party falls under.

In view of no objections being filed to her submission as first vice-president, she was elected by acclamation.

The position was vacated after her predecessor, Mairead McGuinness, became European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union in September.

Dr Metsola is likely to take over Ms McGuinness’ former duties, such as sitting on the Conciliation Committee whose function is to resolve disagreements between the EU Council and the EP.

In comments reported on the Times of Malta, Dr Metsola said she is determined to use the new responsibilities she is afforded to continue to be a strong voice for European citizens, for Malta and for Gozo, and to continue to build bridges across the political divide.

"We have to hit the ground running. With the economic and health recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; terror threats; the BREXIT negotiations; a new President in the United States of America; the situation in Belarus; continued migration challenges and a new rule of law framework all high on the agenda - I, together with President Sassoli and other MEPs, will continue to do our part to ensure that the European Parliament remains a strong link between citizens and the European decision making process," she reportedly said.

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