Rejection by the European Parliament of the Commission-designate headed by Jose Manuel Barroso
Today’s rejection by the European Parliament of the Commission-designate headed by Jose Manuel Barroso has provoked an institutional crisis within the European Union. It remains to be seen whether the Parliament has acted responsibly and with integrity. In any case, it will have a strong impact upon the credibility of the Union.
We salute the dignified way in which President-designate Barroso has handled the debate and the respect that he has shown to the institutions and the persons involved. Mr Barroso’s compromise in response to the concerns of the different groups served to preserve the balance of power within the institutions and the service of the European common good.
The investiture procedure of the commission-designate has seen the Parliament exert unprecedented power, the repercussions of which will have an enduring effect upon the life of the new Commission and the Union. Certain factions from national and European levels have used the investiture process and the commission-designate as pawns in their individual acrimonious political battles. Fighting these battles on the EU stage is at the expense of the European project. We regret that focus on the nomination of certain commissioner-designates has overshadowed the overall competence of the commission.
The intolerance for the personal opinions expressed by commissioner-designate for Justice and Home Affairs, Mr Buttiglione is lamentable. Mr Buttiglione clearly differentiated between law and morality during his committee hearing and promised to respect the laws of the Union concerning anti-discrimination.
We hope for a swift resolution to this institutional crisis which will result in a capable Commission which represents the plurality of Europe and its citizens.