Buttiglione blues

Another columnist to miss the point. George Parker of the Financial Times ends his column on the Buttiglione question as follows:

After all, even if his views are antiquated and insulting to many Europeans, is the parliament really saying that any practising Roman Catholic with traditional views should be debarred from senior EU posts?
FT.com / Columnists / George Parker – Rocco affair tests MEPs' nerves

Now there is a straw man if I ever saw one! Of course, not even the Greens in the European Parliament are suggesting he should be barred from any post as a Commissioner. It is just this particular post on Justice and Home Affairs, where he would be responsible for equal opportunities and non-discrimination, that the discussion is about.

What Mr Parker forgets (and he does not seem to be alone, cf. the comments to the BBC News story on this thing), is that, as a Commissioner, Mr Buttiglione will have the agenda-setting power in this area. The European Commission is, after all, the sole EU institution that has the right of initiative.

The question is, in other words, not whether someone like Mr Buttiglione should have a say or a vote in matters on which he has such strong, and (in Europe) out-of-centre, opinions, but if he should have a veto on any Commission initiative in this field.

I think Kant too would agree that is different.

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