Saturday

2nd Mar 2024

Parliament Committee rejects Italian Commissioner

MEPs in the Civil Liberties Committee in the European Parliament have rejected Italy's proposed new Commissioner - just weeks before he is due to take up his job.

In a vote on Monday (11 October), Rocco Buttiglione was voted down by MEPs - the first time a Commission nominee has ever been fully rejected by a committee.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Get the EU news that really matters

Instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Mr Buttiglione fell foul of the Euro-deputies following his comments, during his Parliament audition last week, on gays and his traditional views on the role of women in society.

Berlusconi: \"crude propaganda\"

A compromise solution suggesting that the conservative politician be kept in the Commission but be given a different portfolio was rejected by a majority.

Reacting to the vote, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlsuconi accused Italian left MEPs of waging "crude propaganda" and said the vote marked a "dreadful start" to the European Parliament.

The Committee will make its recommendation to reject Mr Buttiglione to the president of the European Parliament, Josep Borrell, on Tuesday.

However, a final decision has to be taken later this week by the different political groups.

Knock-on effect?

Some MEPs are already wondering if there will be a knock-on effect - making power politics between the different political families come into play.

It is thought that Commissioner Laszlo Kovacs, a socialist who is to be in charge in energy, could be targeted by conservatives.

"I realise this is politics but it would be a shame if, merely because of politics, good people get in trouble in the confirmations simply because of a knock on effect", the Civil Liberties Committee vice-president, Greek Socialist Stavros Lambrinidis, told EUobserver.

The political group leaders are due to meet incoming Commission president José Manuel Durão Barroso next week to put their views to him.

Mr Barroso is not under any legal obligation to change his team and MEPs, when they vote in two weeks time, can only vote to reject the whole Commission en masse and not just one person from the team.

"In theory, on the basis of this recommendation, Mr Barroso can think about the composition of his Commission - nothing more than that", said Mr Lambrinidis.

To make matters a little cloudier still, Mr Buttiglione was accepted by the Legal Affairs Committee - which also gave him a separate hearing last week.

Analysis

Almost 20 names in running for EU top jobs

With four months until the European Parliament elections, there are already some 20 names in the hat for the ensuing reshuffle of EU top jobs.

EUobserved

New government in Belfast is much ado about not much

The deal to restore Northern Ireland's government — after nearly two years — is being spun as a major triumph. But not much has changed. This is an exercise in fine-tuning and political window-dressing.

'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child

During a plenary session in Strasbourg, an MEP was denied access to the chamber because he was carrying his young child, due to unforeseen circumstances. The episode shows parliament's rules need to be updated, several MEPs told EUobserver.

EU Commission clears Poland's access to up to €137bn EU funds

The European Commission has legally paved the way for Poland to access up to €137bn EU funds, following Donald Tusk's government's efforts to strengthen the independence of their judiciary and restore the rule of law in the country.

Latest News

  1. EU docks €32m in funding to UN Gaza agency pending audit
  2. 'Outdated' rules bar MEP from entering plenary with child
  3. Commission plays down row over Rwanda minerals pact
  4. EU socialists set to anoint placeholder candidate
  5. Why are the banking lobby afraid of a digital euro?
  6. Deepfake dystopia — Russia's disinformation in Spain and Italy
  7. Putin's nuclear riposte to Macron fails to impress EU diplomats
  8. EU won't yet commit funding UN agency in Gaza amid hunger

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersJoin the Nordic Food Systems Takeover at COP28
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersHow women and men are affected differently by climate policy
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersArtist Jessie Kleemann at Nordic pavilion during UN climate summit COP28
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOP28: Gathering Nordic and global experts to put food and health on the agenda
  5. Friedrich Naumann FoundationPoems of Liberty – Call for Submission “Human Rights in Inhume War”: 250€ honorary fee for selected poems
  6. World BankWorld Bank report: How to create a future where the rewards of technology benefit all levels of society?

Join EUobserver

EU news that matters

Join us