Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Monday 11 October 2004

Buttiglione rejected by key EU Parliament committee

I am pleased to see that, after I had written last week about the anti-gay remarks made by Signor Buttiglione, he has been rejected by the Civil Liberties Committee of the EU Parliament. This is not binding, but may cause incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso to reconsider the composition of the new team.

Interestingly, I had a pretty detailed response today (well before the Committee's vote) to the query I sent to the online EU feedback area, which indicated pretty much what I had already understood - that the EU Parliament may only reject the whole Commission, not individual nominees; this is the same 'poison pill' that allows the Parliament to reject an entire budget, but not individual parts of it. It'll be interesting to see over the next couple of weeks how this develops.

UPDATE: (Thursday 14OCT04 00.25 BST) It seems there is stalemate between the EU Parliament (and the views of its President, Josep Borrell) and the incoming EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso; the former does not want Signor Buttiglione to be confirmed, the latter continues to voice his support for him. The EU Parliament seems to be threatening the 'nuclear option' if Senor Barroso won't move, or preferably remove, the Italian nominee; it seems that even moderate MEPs may back this move. There could be a 'shootout at the OK corral' on 21st October. Let's hope Senor Barroso sees sense before then!

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