European Parliament supports Tonio Borg for Commission

Today the European Parliament approved the nomination of Tonio Borg to the European Commission. After four weeks of debates, 386 Members of the European Parliament voted in favour of his appointment, and 281 against (28 abstained).

Tonio BorgA number of progressive MEPs had expressed doubts in relation to his track record on LGBT rights, women’s and migrants’ rights, and sexual and reproductive health rights.

The LGBT Intergroup had raised questions in this respect, but Tonio Borg gave repeated reassurances that he would stick to the treaties, which forbid discrimination.

On LGBT rights, Tonio Borg showed significant goodwill by condemning discrimination based on sexual orientation; promising to re-examine blood donation bans for gay and bisexual men; and arguing for the declassification of transgender people as mentally ill at the World Health Organization.

Ulrike Lunacek MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, commented: “I believe the doubts we expressed in the past few weeks were perfectly legitimate, and I welcome the fact that Dr Borg’s past actions were subjected to heightened scrutiny.”

“A large part of the European Parliament still needs to be convinced. Now, we will need to work with him and his services to make sure he delivers on the promises he made, without preventing any progress.”

Michael Cashman MEP, Co-President of the LGBT Intergroup, added: “I am proud I was one of many MEPs, including the S&D group, who signalled Tonio Borg we would watch his actions during his tenure as Commissioner. The fundamental rights of all remain at the heart of the European Union, and that is where we intend to keep them.”

Today’s vote paves the way for Tonio Borg to join the European Commission in the next days.

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Image credits: © European Parliament