NGOs have called on MEPs to vote against Tonio Borg, claiming they were dissatisfied with the way in which he addressed issues related to sexual and reproductive health.http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/en/newsdetails/news/world/Gay-rights-humanist-NGOs-call-on-MEPs-to-reject-Borg-20121120
Tuesday 20 November 2012 - 15:11 by a Staff Reporter
Prof. Arnold Cassola, AD spokesperson on EU and International Affairs, has written to the Green Group in the European Parliament stating that Alternattiva Demokratika is against Tonio Borg's nomination.
"AD is not against Borg's nomination because he is a Catholic but because he has tried to impose his personal views on everybody, with regards to gay rights and divorce, and because he was in favour of Berlusconi's pushback policy of migrants as well as sending Eritrean refugees back home to be tortured as evidenced by Amnesty International and UNHCR..... which goes against the basic teaching of the Catholic church. The personal faith of every person, including Commissioners, should be always respected, whatever it is," Cassola said.
93 NGOs have signed a petition calling for the rejection of commissioner-designate Tonio Borg, who is expected to be appointed tomorrow by the European Parliament in a secret ballot by MEPs in Strasbourg.
The NGOs have called on MEPs to vote against Tonio Borg, claiming they were dissatisfied with the way in which he addressed issues related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, women's rights and rights of migrants.
"Despite commitments made at the hearing, our organisations' strong objection to his nomination still remains. Mr Borg's political track record shows that his personal views have a strong influence on his political actions, despite reassurance to the contrary
"We call on the European Parliament to reject Tonio Borg's candidature on the basis of facts, which included his documented track record as well as on the basis of the Parliament hearing of 13 November 2012," the NGOs said.
The NGOs mainly comprise gay rights organisations in Europe and humanist organisations. No organisation from Malta signed the petition.FULL LIST [PDF]
A letter to all MEPs by commissioner-designate Tonio Borg professing his belief in the "innate dignity of all, regardless of their sexual orientation or distinctions" was yesterday followed up by an endorsement from Commission President José Manuel Barroso who told EP president Martin Schulz that "a positive vote on Borg's appointment is in our mutual interest".
Borg's letter, coming in the wake of a request by members of the ENVI committee to pledge his full commitment to several of his promises and statements made during a hearing last week, outlines Borg's promise to MEPs to fight discrimination in all its forms.
In his letter, Borg commits himself to the principle of Article 21 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 19 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, and EU anti-discrimination and case law as fulfilment of his pledge to fight any sort of discrimination, after he was accused of having made homophobic statements in the past.