The incoming European Commission President has offered the European Parliament more concessions in a bid to win backing for his EU executive. In a keynote speech before tomorrow’s crucial investiture vote, Jose Manuel Durao Barroso, vowed to create an EU fundamental rights agency to fight all forms of discrimination.
But he rejected demands to reshuffle his team and move the controversial Italian conservative Rocco Buttiglione from the justice and interior affairs portfolio. “Some of you would have preferred a more radical response and a reshuffling of the team. But is this a real option at this stage? Changing portfolios at this stage would cause more political and institutional problems than it would solve,” Barroso said. Despite Barroso’s concessions, Wednesday’s vote is still expected to be very close with some MEPs threatening to go for the so-called “nuclear option” of rejecting the entire Commission.