European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association

Unprecedented decision for human rights

ILGA-Europe welcomes the decision of Commission President Barroso to withdraw his proposed Commission from the approval vote in the European Parliament.

At 11 a.m., just a few hours before the vote on the designated Commission was to take place, Mr. Barroso announced his decision to withdraw the proposed Commission. The decision follows weeks of debate on the suitability of Prof. Buttiglione to fulfil his portfolio as designate Vice President and Commissioner for Freedom, Justice and Security.

Riccardo Gottardi co-chair of ILGA-Europe said “This is an historical day in the EU from at least two points of view: the Parliament was able to play its role as watchdog of the Commission and it also restated its Commitment to human rights as a core value of the European Union.”

Following the European Parliament’s hearing, the Committee for Civil Liberties
expressed its opposition to Buttiglione’s nomination as Commissaire for Freedom, Justice and Security. Mr. Barroso had proposed a series of compromise deals, none of which was accepted by the European Parliament.  Over the last days, MEPs have increasingly expressed their disapproval at the determination of Mr. Barroso to go ahead with his Commission.

Jackie Lewis co-chair of ILGA-Europe said “The Parliament has confirmed that rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are an integral part of human rights in the EU.   It has also clearly demonstrated that it is inappropriate for Commissionaires to openly state that their moral values will prevail over their public duty.”

Although the exact outcome is still uncertain, it is likely that the Commissioner designates will be more suitable for their respective portfolios. Undoubtedly, Barros’s unprecedented step will be discussed at this week’s meeting in Rome where head of states will officially sign the Constitution.