Waiting Game on New Commission
The European Parliament and Commission are locked in a seven-day waiting game as each side reassesses the eligibility of the new team of Commissioners.
With all the assessments of the parliamentary hearings of the Commissioners completed, the political leaders of the European Parliament met Wednesday morning to decide where to go next. But the meeting did not solve the impasse caused by one committee rejecting the Italian Commissioner Rocco Buttiglione and another committee saying they were not convinced of the "professional competence" of the Hungarian, Laszlo Kovacs. "A majority of groups felt it wasn't appropriate to go into the substance today," said European Parliament President Josep Borell. He added that there was no discussion "on any alternative strategy for Mr Buttiglione" who angered some MEPs with his remarks on gays and the role of women in society. Instead it was agreed that Borrell send the committees' recommendations to Commission President Jose Barroso – without any extra commentary from Borrell on possible solutions to the deadlock. This puts the ball firmly in Barroso's court, as both sides wait for a joint meeting next Thursday to discuss what to do. But because the political groups were divided on what is the best solution - it means the new Commission president has gained the advantage.