The incoming European Commission President has hinted he plans to replace – and not just reshuffle – some of the members governments designated to be in the new EU executive. After the European Parliament showed its muscle this week, Portugal’s Jose Manuel Barroso aborted presenting his team just before a parliamentary investiture vote. He risked an unprecedented defeat over the Italian nominee Rocco Buttiglione. The political turmoil reverberated at the constitutional gathering.
“I will now engage consultations with some members states and political forces in the European Parliament. My goal is to present a Commission that will deserve the strong support of the parliament and the full confidence of the European Council.” Other nominees have also been criticised but Buttiglione was the only one rejected outright after voicing his views on gays and married women. Italian media speculation is that education minister Letizia Moratti might be nominated for a new line-up, which, according to the commission’s outgoing president could be ready for November 17.