Incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso is said to be seeking a compromise way out of his first crisis over designated EU justice chief Rocco Buttiglione.
The European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee rejected the Italian politician for the sensitive post last week. His conservative Roman Catholic views on homosexuality and marriage did not go over well at a confirmation hearing. Socialist floor leader Martin Schulz says he is optimistic that Barroso’s efforts will result in a constructive solution. He said Barroso had put forward “new elements” to resolve the crisis. The Socialist group is the second largest force in the parliament. The new Commission chief is due to meet all the parliamentary leaders this Thursday. At a press briefing, Shulz had hinted that a solution might involve some change in Buttiglione’s role or responsibilities; When asked if Barroso shared that opinion, Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen declined to give details. The parliament can only approve or reject the team as a whole, not individuals in it. The largest group in the parliament, the conservative European People’s Party, are confident Barroso will take the assembly’s concerns seriously. The centre-right Liberals, who have a record eight members in Barroso’s team, are supporting him. The investiture vote is set for October 27.