Hearing of Commissioner-designate Tonio Borg
Tonio Borg has been put forward to replace John Dalli as health and consumer protection commissioner, but under the treaties the Maltese foreign minister cannot be confirmed without the Parliament having been asked first. MEPs will use the opportunity to find out his views and assess his suitability before voting on a recommendation
Mr Borg has already responded to some of the Parliament's questions in writing. He will be questioned by members of the environment, public health and food safety committee aided by their colleagues from the agriculture and rural development committee and the internal market and consumer protection committee during a hearing on Tuesday 13 November from 15:00 CET.
Following the hearing, the relevant committee chairs and political group coordinators will consult with each other on their impressions and recommendations. Finally, all MEPs will vote on a resolution concerning the Commission-designate's appointment in next week's plenary session in Strasbourg.
Assessing the suitability of future commissioners is an important part of the Parliament's supervisory powers. Commissioners are responsible for proposing new legislation in their field and ensuring its implementation in the member states, so it is vital to ensure candidates are of the right calibre. The parliamentary scrutiny is also there to enhance the transparency of the nomination process.
In 2004 the nomination of Rocco Buttiglione for justice commissioner was withdrawn after MEPs raised questions about his positions on homosexuality and women's rights. In 2010 Rumiana Jeleva was replaced as candidate for the commissioner for international cooperation and humanitarian aid after she failed to answer questions about allegations over her financial interests during the parliamentary hearing.