MEPs have questioned the nominee for the EU’s top health job over his views on homosexuality and abortion. Tonio Borg from Malta is up for the job after his predecessor John Dalli quit due to a lobbying scandal.
Borg told the committee:“I never made disparaging remarks, including one which has been circulating that ‘we should have to put up with gays’. I never said that. And one can check with the official transcripts as to which criticism I made”.
Borg’s personal views are an issue because the EU health commissioner oversees sensitive policy concerning access to healthcare and contraception.
Plans for his appointment have pitted Greens, Liberals and Socialists against Conservatives.
“If he is going to work as health commissioner he has to deal with HIV and AIDS prevention and with access to health services. I think the candidate has made some very equivocal statements in the past which don’t fit with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights.” said German Liberal MEP Holger Krahmer.
Despite their divisions, the committee members must reach a decision on whether to endorse Borg within 24 hours. They will cast a non-binding vote on his nomination by secret ballot next week.