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Attivismo civico & Terzo settore

Barroso II passes the test

Leaving some, such as leader of the European Green party Daniel Cohn-Bendit, unimpressed

di Olivia McConhay

The European Parliament gave the green light to the new European Commission on Tuesday February 9, just eight months after the 2009 European parliamentary elections took place in June.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso and his 26-member college received 488 votes in favour, 137 against while 72 MEPs abstained.

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the largest group in the parliament, and the Liberal group pledged their support for Mr Barroso and his team ahead of the ballot. The Socialists, after some internal debate, also said they would vote in favour.

The Greens and the far left voted against while the anti-federalist ECR abstained.

The nature of the parliament’s vote – which could only reject or approve the whole of the Barroso II team – received attention in the media and from civil society actors around the bloc in the past few weeks following a controversial hearing of Bulgarian nominee Rumiana Jeleva.

The latter was soon replaced by Kristalina Georgieva, a former World Bank vice president, deemed more suitable for the post of Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

The positive outcome of the overall vote was not welcomed from all quarters however. Green leader Daniel Cohn Bendit called his fellow deputies from the larger political groups “hypocrites” for feeling lukewarm about Mr Barroso and his team but casting a favourable vote anyway.

Source: EUobserver, Reuters, NYTimes

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