SNP MEPs welcome Euro Commission climbdown

27 October 2004
Scottish National Party Euro-MPs have welcomed today's dramatic climbdown by incoming Euro Commission President José Manuel Barroso.

Faced with the prospect of having his entire Commission rejected by the European Parliament, Mr Barroso withdraw their nomination and the decision is postponed until next month.

Speaking from Strasbourg, SNP European Leader Ian Hudghton MEP said:

"This is a victory for a democratically elected parliament over a cabal that tried to force through a European Commission riddled with candidates who aren't up to the job. It took him a long while, but I'm pleased that Mr Barroso has at last woken up to the seriousness of the situation. The reality is that he had little choice, faced with a humiliating defeat he withdrew his team.

Now it's over to him to heed our valid concerns and put forward a set of Commissioners that will genuinely be fit for purpose."

Alyn Smith MEP commented:

"This victory for parliament is a major snub for certain heads of government, including our own Mr Blair, who've tried to drive through this shoddy deal. If they expected the European Parliament to just rubber stamp their stitch up they've got it badly wrong. Barroso must now move quickly to put forward a Commission in which we can have confidence, his credibility is already damaged enough.

Although the process for choosing Commissioners remains flawed, for today at least we've sent them homeward to think again."