Barroso in renewed search for ‘the right stuff’

After the resignation of Rocco Buttiglione on
29 October, the question now is how far Commission President
Barroso will need to go in the announced reshuffle of his
team to get approval from the EP.


The historic showdown between Commission
and the Parliament on 27 October, which forced
Barroso to withdraw his team in the face of a
no-confidence vote, has triggered a wave of
speculation as to just how many commissioners
designate he will need to let go of in the promised


The leader of the conservative EPP group
in the Parliament, Hans-Gert Pöttering, has stated
that the resignation of Buttiglione does not mean
the coast is now clear for Barroso. He specifically
mentioned the Hungarian Commissioner designate Laszlo
Kovacs, the Latvian Ingrida Udre and the Dutchwoman
Neelie Kroes as problematic. The Danish Commissioner
designate Mariann Fischer Boel has also previously been
cited as another who may end up having to step


However, Mr Pöttering’s political
standing has been seriously weakened by news that he was
apparently a key player behind the failed efforts of
Barroso to bully the EP into accepting the initial
Commission line-up. 


Rocco Buttiglione himself told the Italian
press that he in fact offered to resign on 26 October
prior to the planned vote in EP, but Pöttering
encouraged Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi to stick to his


President Barroso is expected to seek
approval of a new line-up at the European Council
on 4-5 November.


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