18 September 2014

Reactions for Tonio Borg's successful nomination

 - Wednesday, 21 November 2012, 17:00

by Keith Micallef

Update 4

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 (MŻPN) 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 .



Post Comment
Mikael Wallgren says:
22 November 2012 14:04

Joe: "It is funny how Catholics do not interfere with other beliefs, but not vice-versa. Even funnier is that the Socialists at the EU do not support their counterparts in Malta!"

Well, ask the non-believers in countries like Ireland and Malta- doesn´t you reactionary guys force them to live thrue your standards with law against abortions and gay-rights?

And regarding the socialists, it is rather so that the socialists in Malta doesn´t support their friends and their ideology - not the other way around. A socialist who votes for a reactionary guy to a political post is either not a modern socialist or has just his/hers mind clouded by nationalistic loyalty. Non of it is that nice.

Post Reply

Mikael Wallgren says:
21 November 2012 22:37

Correct Emmy S: We are many christians that prefer to see to the love of God, rather than limiting his love to people who live as the church prefer.

Regarding the vote; this is a sad day for EU. It is time for the more modern nations to leave the EU. Mr Borgs opinions are as modern as the agricultural policys of the EU. This

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Joe Martinelli says:
21 November 2012 16:17

Alternattiva Demokratika should openly declare that it is in favour of abortion, cloning, uncontrolled IVF and other procedures which go contrary to Christian beliefs.
Otherwise please clam up and do not be ambiguous and not reflective on the majority's moral views.
No wonder that in its 25 year or so existence it struggles in voting preferences.
The AD wants to be 'a little of this' and 'a little of that' but not enough of either.

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Emmy Scerri says:
21 November 2012 19:45

Perhaps you can qualify your statement by changing "Christian" to "Catholic" beliefs.   There are plenty of Christians who have no problem with IVF, abortion or cloning.  They are the minority in Malta but a big majority in other countries.

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Joe Martinelli says:
22 November 2012 00:11

Emmy, one isn't a Catholic without being Christian first. Besides, read my comment again and you will find that besides abortion, IVF and cloning I continued, 'and other procedures which go contrary to Christian beliefs'.
There are many Catholics and Christians of convenience but not of conviction, but that is another argument altogether, though you perhaps get my drift.
The Socialists and Greens among others seem to have zeroed in on Tonio Borg simply because of his beliefs which, by the way, are his right and supposedly protected by the EU itself.
In the end, it didn't matter because as others said, 'common sense prevailed'.
It is funny how Catholics do not interfere with other beliefs, but not vice-versa. Even funnier is that the Socialists at the EU do not support their counterparts in Malta!

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