ILGA-Europe calls on Barroso to re-think composition of new Commission - Buttiglione told the home affairs committee he considers homosexuality a sin
“We call on incoming Commission President Barroso to recognise that Prof Buttiglione is not the right man to be in charge of human rights, civil liberties and the fight against discrimination in the EU. The LIBE Committee’s unprecedented ‘vote of no confidence’ shows the Parliament’s continued commitment to fundamental rights” says Riccardo Gottardi, Co-Chair of ILGA-Europe.
In a vote on Monday, 11 October, MEPs in the Civil Liberties Committee rejected the appointment of Mr Buttiglione as Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs. The vote followed the Committee hearing of Prof Buttiglione on 5 October, where he re-confirmed concerns raised by ILGA-Europe that his private beliefs will continue to influence the way he will handle this important and sensitive portfolio.
“It is legitimate to wonder how Signor Buttiglione could protect the treaties of the Union when he maintains in his work moral reserves on the very values enshrined in those treaties”, says Gottardi. As a Member of Parliament, Prof Buttiglione proved the difficulty he has in separating his private views from public office and religion from politics: Buttiglione submitted an amendment to the Convention on the Future of Europe proposing the deletion of ‘sexual orientation’ from the list of prohibited grounds for discrimination in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
The hearing on 5 October did little to dispel these doubts. When asked about how his religious convictions would affect his policies, he said that he was willing to engage in dialogue but qualified this concession by explicitly stating that if a proposal were contrary to his moral principles, he would oppose it. In the context of his expressed views on homosexuality, the role of women and marriage, ILGA-Europe is concerned whether Prof Buttiglione as European Commissioner of Justice and Home Affairs would be able to act in the best interest of all Europeans.
For more information, please contact:
Birgit Hardt, Public Affairs Officer: +32-2 609 54 13, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Riccardo Gottardi: email@example.com.
Antigay nominee for EU justice turned down
Buttiglione told the home affairs committee he considers homosexuality a sin
Italy's antigay conservative nominee to become the European Union's justice and home affairs commissioner on Monday failed to win the backing of the European Parliament's justice committee, an EU official said. The panel narrowly failed to endorse Rocco Buttiglione, who is currently Italy's European affairs minister, said Jean-Louis Bourlanges, chairman of the justice committee.
During a confirmation hearing last week, Buttiglione faced a barrage of hostile questions over his conservative religious and moral views. He vowed to defend the rights of gays but told the justice and home affairs committee he considers homosexuality a sin. The "no" vote created something of a stalemate, as Buttiglione has already won the backing from another assembly panel, the legal affairs committee.
In the past two weeks the European Parliament held confirmation hearings for 25 men and women who have been named by their governments to serve on the next EU executive commission, which begins work November 1 under incoming commission president Jose Manuel Barroso, the former Portuguese prime minister. The nominated commissioners have also faced questioning by individual parliamentary committees.