The new President of the European Parliament, an ally of persons with disabilities

The new President of the European Parliament, an ally of persons with disabilities

EDF welcomes the election of Roberta Metsola as President of the European Parliament. President Metsola became the first woman leading the Parliament in 20 years, and the third in the history of the EU assembly. Besides, she is a member of the Disability Intergroup and has proven her commitment to realising the rights of persons with disabilities.

A fervent defender of Europe’s common values, namely democracy, dignity, justice, solidarity, equality, rule of law, and fundamental rights, the European People’s Party candidate for the Parliament presidency won the election stressing her vision of the European Parliament: a safer, fairer, more just and more equal institution that empowers citizens, stands for fundamental rights, support equality, and defend the rights of citizens of all of their diversity, including persons with disabilities. In her acceptance speech, she also reminded the role of the European Union: to stand for one another, to bring people closer, to protect the ‘vulnerable’ ‘the oppressed and the abused’, and those still discriminated against.

As member of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament, President Metsola has, for instance, expressed her views on the European Disability Strategy 2010- 2020:

The European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 is a renewed commitment to a barrier-free Europe. Full economic and social participation by people with disabilities is essential if the EU’s Europe 2020 strategy is to succeed in creating smart, sustainable, and inclusive growth. Building a society that includes everyone also brings market opportunities and fosters innovation. There is a strong business case for making services and products accessible to all, given the demand from a growing number of aging consumers.

During the COVID-19 crisis, on the occasion of Maltese Prime Minister intervention on the pandemic, she also took a stand for persons with disabilities:

It is unacceptable that information on #coronavirus #COVID19 in #Malta being given by our Prime Minister in his regular press conferences is not being made available in sign language. It’s 2020. People with a disability should not be treated as lesser citizens.

EDF looks forward to continuing the cooperation with President Metsola to keep the European Parliament as the closest institution to persons with disabilities, and to work together for the adoption of policies that protect the rights of persons with disabilities.

Photo credit: © European Union 2022 – Source : EP/ Philippe BUISSIN