EU leaders are expected Thursday to try to agree on a new team of commissioners following the withdrawal of the original team before the European Parliament last week.
EU leaders are expected Thursday to try to agree on a new team of commissioners following the withdrawal of the original team before the European Parliament last week. But the alterations to be made by incoming Commission President Jose Barroso are set to be the minimum possible. According to sources, Barroso's new line up will affect three commissioners -- although five were criticized by MEPS. The new Italian commissioner is expected to be Franco Frattini, currently the country's foreign minister; He would fill the gap left by Rocco Buttiglione who stepped down over the weekend after causing a furor with his views on gays and women. Barroso is also expected to suggest that the newly proposed Latvian commissioner, Andris Piebalgs take on the energy portfolio. This would free up the Hungarian Laszlo Kovacs, still supported by his government, to move to tax. Kovacs was strongly criticized by MEPs for being "incompetent" in the area of energy. Such moves would not affect the Dutch and Danish commissioners, Neelie Kroes and Mariann Fischer Boel, both of whom have been accused of having conflicts of interests in their new positions. (EUobserver.com)