Kroes retains EC competition portfolio

5th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

5 November 2004, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch candidate for the EC competition portfolio, Neelie Kroes, has retained her nomination in the proposed revamped European Commission line-up, despite sharp criticism of her suitability for the job.

5 November 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch candidate for the EC competition portfolio, Neelie Kroes, has retained her nomination in the proposed revamped European Commission line-up, despite sharp criticism of her suitability for the job.

Incoming EC chief Jose Manuel Barroso unveiled his new line-up on Thursday night, expressing optimism that the European Parliament will back the new proposal, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende welcomed the decision to retain Kroes in the competition portfolio, asserting that she will function "excellently" in the post.

The cabinet had previously made it clear to Barroso that it wanted to retain Kroes and the competition portfolio. Barosso's decision is therefore seen as a victory for the Dutch government.

Faced with the prospect of having his entire commission rejected, Barroso postponed a vote of approval in the European Parliament on his proposed line-up of new commissioners last week.

The sticking point was candidate justice commissioner Italian Rocco Buttiglione, who was criticised by MEPs for voicing controversial views on gay people and women. Buttiglione will be replaced by Italy's Foreign Minister Franco Frattini.

But Kroes had also been under fire for feared conflicts of interest due to her extensive links with the business community. She has served on various boards of commissioners.

As competition commissioner she will be required to rule on illegal cartels and monopolistic practices, but has promised to transfer judgments to other commissioners if they affect companies that have previously employed her.

It is hoped the European Parliament will vote over the new EC line-up within the next fortnight. The new EC was meant to have started work on 1 November.

[Copyright Expatica News 2004]

Subject: Dutch news

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