BREAKING NEWS ~ EU head withdraws commissioners slate after dispute over Justice nominee Bernard Hibbitts at 6:15 AM ET
[JURIST] BBC News is reporting that incoming EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has withdrawn his proposed slate of Commissioners from consideration by the European Parliament after a dispute over the inclusion of controversial Justice portfolio nominee Rocco Buttiglione. Observers expected Barroso to lose the Parliamentary vote, in which the full slate of 25 Commission candidates had to be elected or rejected. Buttiglione, who had expressed a variety of traditional religious beliefs, such as homosexuality being a sin and marriage being for the protection of women and the procreation of children, had previously been rejected by a Parliamentary committee reviewing his nomination.
UPDATE: The full text of Barroso's speech to Parliament withdrawing his slate of Commissioners is now online here [PDF] from the Barroso's official EU website.
UPDATE-2: Recorded video of Barroso's speech is now available from the EU here.
UPDATE-3: It has been announced that as President-designate Barroso's team will be unable to take office as scheduled November 1, current European Commission President Romano Prodi and his Commission will remain in office in a caretaker capacity. The EU Dutch Presidency has called EU leaders together for talks on the situation. Read the Dutch Presidency press release here. Meanwhile, the Italian government has publicly indicated its continuing support for Justice portfolio nominee Buttiglione. Deutsche Welle has more.
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