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New EU executive ready for launch, weak links replaced

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New EU executive ready for launch, weak links replaced


European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has presented his revamped line-up of commissioners to the European Parliament.

This Thursday’s key investiture vote in Strasbourg is expected to go well. The Portugues former prime minister said: “I took heed of what you told me. You underscored the need for a strong, able commission, which will serve all Europeans. To answer your call, I made the changes I consider fair and necessary, without recomposing the entire team.” Most of the conservatives, liberals and Socialists are set to back the revamped college. Final parliamentary confirmation hearings were held on Tuesday. Notably among the Greens, doubts remain over commissioner Neelie Kroes but Barroso promised the Dutch woman’s extensive business background would not lead to conflicts of interest in European competition affairs. Most MEPs feel Italy’s Franco Frattini will make a good justice commissioner, but a French liberal said that was an absurd portfolio to give to a representative of the Berlusconi government. He also deplored the limitations of Kroes. Another new face is Andris Piebalgs of Latvia, for energy; Hungary’s Laszlo Kovacs has been moved to the taxation portfolio. Last month, the Socialists insisted Barroso replace some of the candidates nominated by the member states.
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