As the European Parliament started meeting again, with MEPs this time meeting physically, Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola yesterday gave a powerful speech at the European Parliament, about the true meaning of Europe.
Roberta Metsola was speaking at a debate on Poland’s Rule of Law and LBGTI-free zones, following a new report which points to “overwhelming evidence” of rule of law breaches, including risks for judicial independence, malfunctioning of the legislative and electoral systems, and threats to fundamental rights.
The debate also focused on a developing situation in Poland, where certain local authorities have declared their territories “LGBTI-free zones”, including when it comes to employing people.
Starting off speaking about the attempts to intimidate judges in Poland. “I want to tell the judges that we will never turn our backs on what is happening. That justice matters more than electoral majorities.”
It was then that Metsola spoke about the ethos of Europe – that we are all different and yet all equal – which is a timely reminder for Europeans everywhere.
All different. All equal. – My speech in the European Parliament 🏳️🌈
Publiée par Roberta Metsola sur Mardi 15 septembre 2020
Metsola said that as per the ethos of Europe, a German, a Maltese, a Pole and a Latvian national could walk down the street in a village in Poland, and expect the same rights, and the same level of protection.
“That any Jew or Catholic, atheist or devout of any religion – could do the same. That we could all feel safe, in every little down across our Europe. That straight, gay, lesbian, bi, trans, or non-binary, you are free to live your life without fear, without recrimination, without arrest. Because that is what our Europe is,” Metsola said.
Metsola added that this is why “we remain the beacon of hope, in a world that is under threat. Because while we may all be different, we are all equal.”
The EPP Maltese MEP said that having LGBT-free zones, means having Europe-free zones, “and if there is one corner of this Union where Europeans are not welcome, then that is one corner too many.”
On concluding, and addressing ‘those people who are feeling desperate, those parents who are terrified for their children’s safety, those young people who expect us to keep our promise to them that they can live their life freely,’ Metsola stated that their family matters too, that theirs is not an invasive ideology, that theirs is a Polish ideology and therefore, a European ideology.
“We have your back. Europe stands with you, because we understand that while we are all different, we are all equal,” she said, after while applause from fellow MEPs ensued.
Photos: European Parliament / Roberta Metsola