The Malta Independent 19 December 2014, Friday

Reactions for Tonio Borg's successful nomination

Malta Independent Wednesday, 21 November 2012, 17:00 Last update: about 6 months ago

Dr Borg stuck to his principles - PN

The Nationalist Party congratulated Dr Borg and praised the manner in which he persuaded the European Parliament to back him to become European Commissioner. It added that he had to endure tough times following his nomination, but stuck to his principles throughout. The PN said that Dr Borg believes in European principles and has defended human rights assiduously throughout his political career.

Meanwhile the party’s youth movement (MZPN) said that Dr Borg should be a benchmark for both candidates running for the post of deputy leader, which he relinquished soon after he was nominated for European Commissioner. 

 

Labour Meps were decisive  - PL

The Labour Party congratulated Dr Borg for his success, but remarked that just as its leader had warned, his nomination proved to be problematic . The PL said that despite some reservations regarding a number of declarations which Dr Borg had made in the past, it supported his nomination in the national interest.

The Labour Party stressed that credit must go to its Meps who managed to persuade some of their Socialist colleagues to vote for Dr Borg, thus swaying the tide in his favour. It added that even Dr Borg himself has recognized this in his reaction to the vote.

This sentiment was echoed by Labour Mep Joseph Cuschieri  who said that this vote was crucial for Malta’s credibility.

 

Common sense has prevailed - EPP

The Chairman of the European People’s Party group Joseph Daul welcomed the positive result on the nomination of Tonio Borg as the new European Commissioner for health and consumer policy, saying that common sense has prevailed.

“We put our trust in his commitment to be at the service of European citizens. His professional record, his convincing presentation during the European Parliament’s hearing and his personal engagement qualify him to take up such an important post. I am happy that common sense has prevailed over the double standards of those who used ideological narrow-mindedness to attack the candidate”, he added.

“This is a victory of reason over intolerance and ideological partisanship. Tonio Borg’s professional competences and his commitment to European values is decisive for us. Tonio Borg should now get to work as soon as possible”, said Richard Seeber, EPP Group Co-Coordinator in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

“Today’s vote is a victory for the freedom of opinion and a defeat for all those who want to dictate what they think is moral correctness”, said Peter Liese, who is also an EPP Group Co-Coordinator in the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

The EPP Group said that in these difficult times, it is crucial to have strong European institutions. It added that thanks to its efforts to approve Tonio Borg as commissioner, the European Parliament has proved that it lives up to this standard.

Meanwhile EPP President Wilfried Martens said that “This approval reflects Dr Borg’s strong European conviction and skilful performance during last week’s hearing in the European Parliament”.

“As a long-standing Minister of the Maltese government, Tonio Borg has the necessary capacity and in-depth knowledge to lead successfully the Health and Consumer policy portfolio of the European Commission,” the EPP President stated.

“Tonio Borg has been very active with our work – for example, in the EPP Foreign Ministers’ meetings - so now, I look forward to working with him in the framework of EPP’s activities which involve our members of the European Commission,” Martens concluded.

 

Dr Borg must not allow his personal views to influence the public health portfolio – ALDE

Liberal Mep Chris Davies said that the new commissioner must be careful not to allow his views to get in the way of rational judgment on sensitive issues of health and reproductive rights.

“We recognise that Dr Borg gave a professional performance at his hearing and we have no reason to doubt that he is competent and able. However, his views on homosexuality, divorce, abortion, and the scientific use of tissues and cells have been well reported and, while he stated his opposition to discrimination and support for human rights, Dr Borg made no attempt to deny his opinions on social issues of great importance”.

“The health portfolio embraces a range of issues where impartiality is crucial and we are not assured that the necessary impartiality would prevail. Accordingly we withheld our support for the confirmation of the commissioner-designate with regard to the particular portfolio for which he has been nominated. If he remains in charge of public health we will be scrutinising his decisions and statements on these areas very closely.”

 

A great day for Europe’s democracy - European Dignity Watch

Despite the attempts of intolerant special interest groups to discredit Dr Borg due to his personal beliefs on social issues such as abortion and marriage, the Maltese nominee proved to be a suitable candidate for the position, European Dignity Watch said.

It added that Meps were convinced not only by his professional qualification but by his excellent performance at parliamentary hearings last week.

“This is a great day for Europe’s democracy. Today the fundamental principles of the European Union — subsidiarity, freedom of conscience and free speech — have been affirmed.”

European Dignity Watch said that in spite of the hard lobbying campaign that was mounted against Dr Borg and his personal convictions, a majority of Meps have shown that there is room in a modern democracy for a wide range of personal and political views. “The vote is a clear statement that most Europeans do not want the narrow and intolerant social agenda that some vocal lobby groups advocated for in their campaign against Tonio Borg.”

 

Dr Borg approval must lead to promotion of European values and principles - AD

Alternattiva Demokratika who has vehemently opposed Dr Borg’s nomination both in Malta as well as abroad said that Dr Borg should ensure that he will promote European values and principles .

 
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