Frattini is a cautious politician who is likely to prove a much less controversial Commissioner designate than Buttiglione. Italy's foreign affairs minister since 2002, he was praised by colleagues for his handling of negotiations on the EU Constitution during Italy's EU presidency in 2003. Frattini has repeatedly spoken about the importance of unity in Europe and made comments indicating he is not in favour of a two-speed Europe, a feature increasingly used in the field of justice and home affairs.
The 47-year-old Italian foreign minister is a close ally of Silvio Berlusconi and member of his Forza Italia [Go Italy] party. He penned a controversial conflict of interest bill that was approved by parliament earlier this year and that critics say was tailor-made to protect Berlusconi from having to sell his media empire.
A lawyer by trade and Tuscan by origin, Franco Frattini graduated from Rome's La Sapienza university at 22 and became a state attorney in Rome by the age of 24. He then worked as a legal advisor to the treasury before joining Forza Italia in 1996 and rising swiftly to become one of the party's leading lights.
Other changes in the new Commission line-up concern László Kovács, the Hungarian foreign minister, who will take the tax and customs union post, and Andris Piebalgs of Latvia, who will assume the Commission's energy portfolio.
Barroso will present his revised team to leading MEPs on 5 November. Fresh confirmation hearings will then be held the following week for the three new commissioners and MEPs will vote on approving the Commission on 15 November.