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Incoming President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso is to present a new team for approval by the European Parliament within one month
Only minor changes will be made to his present team of commissioners, he was quoted as saying. Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said that Barroso has to do more than just replace the Italian commissioner-designate Rocco Buttiglione or assign him to a different post. Juncker said there are serious objections to at least three other candidates, but did not say who they were, the report said. Barroso withdrew his proposal for a new European Commission on Wednesday after it became clear the European Parliament would vote it down. Buttiglione, who is supposed to take the portfolio of justice and home affairs in the new team, has been fiercely criticized for his conservative ideas about homosexuality and the role of women in marriage. Following his withdrawal, outcoming EC President Romano Prodi was invited to stay on in a caretaker role for some time, informs Hinhuanet. According to the Washington Post, the president-elect of the European Commission on Wednesday withdrew his proposed executive team from consideration by the European Parliament to avoid an unprecedented rejection. "I have come to the conclusion that if a vote is taken today, the outcome will not be positive for E.U. institutions," Jose Manuel Barroso told parliament. "In these circumstances, I have decided not to submit the new European Commission for your approval today." Barroso's team faced likely rejection because he refused to replace his nominated justice and security chief, Italy's Rocco Buttiglione, who outraged many lawmakers by calling homosexuality a "sin" and saying that "the family exists to permit a woman to have children and be protected by her husband." The last-minute pullback came as E.U. leaders were preparing for a grand ceremony in Rome on Friday to sign the first constitution of the newly expanded bloc, which now has 25 member countries. E.U. officials had hoped that the gathering would launch a public campaign for ratification by the member states, but many analysts say it may now become a crisis meeting on the standoff between the bloc's main institutions. Barroso, a former Portuguese prime minister selected by E.U. leaders to head the commission, declined to say whether he would replace some of the 24 individuals nominated for seats on the body or just reshuffle portfolios. The body is the European Union's executive arm. Incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says he will make changes in his proposed commission, one day after withdrawing his slate in the face of a likely European Parliament veto. Mr. Barroso told European media Thursday he has no plans to rebuild the 25-member team from scratch, but will make the changes he considers necessary. He withdrew his proposed team Wednesday after indications that parliament would refuse to support it in a confirmation vote. Lawmakers have questioned the qualifications of several nominees. Many especially criticized Rocco Buttiglione, the designated Justice Commissioner, for calling homosexuality a sin and saying that marriage was designed for women to enjoy the protection of a man. Reports say Italy will only accept Mr. Buttiglione's withdrawal from the commission if he is included in a series of nominee changes, reports Polit Info.
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