Barroso II Commission – Andris Piebalgs on development aid: “We cannot compromise on our values”

Between the 11th and 19th January 2010, the European Parliament is conducting 3-hour interviews with European Commissioner-Designates. This exercise of democratic scrutiny allows Members of the European Parliament to raise issues related to Commissioner-Designates’ portfolios, relay civil society’s concerns to future Commissioners, and secure commitments from Commissioner-Designates for their five years in office.

During the hearings of European Commissioner-Designates by the European Parliament, the Intergroup on LGBT Rights is releasing short bulletins on issues relevant to LGBT rights raised during the top-level interviews of future Commissioners.

Commissioner Andris PiebalgsToday, the Parliament heard Andris Piebalgs (Latvia), Commissioner-Designate for Development. During his hearing, Mr Piebalgs made clear that the European Union’s commitments abroad through development aid was inseparable from the values enshrined in EU treaties, including the fundamental rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-president of the European Parliament’s Intergroup on LGBT Rights, declared after the hearing: “Mr Piebalgs’ clear commitment to maintain the principle of non-discrimination—including on LGBT rights—in the revision of our agreements with African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries is a welcome reassurance.” Mr Cashman further affirmed that the Commission nominee’s responses showed “a firm commitment to uphold and defend these fundamental rights” abroad.