Commission vice-president designate Frans Timmermans makes wrong statement about pro-life initiative “One of Us”

By J.C. von Krempach, J.D. | October 7, 2014

European Voice have a life blog on the parliamentary hearings of the designate members of the new European Commission. Particular attention was due to former Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans, as he would become the powerful vice-president of the commission with special oversight on fundamental rights, the rule of law, and the European Citizens’ Intitiatives.

Several questions were asked with regard to the successful Citizen Inititiative “One of Us”, which had been blocked by the Barroso Commission on the basis of rather spurious arguments.

Toby Vogel from European Voice reports:

Another question about the anti-abortion citizens’ initiative. Timmermans: the nature of the ECI is to ask the Commission to make a proposal. ‘One of Us’ did not ask the Commission to make a proposal that is within its remit. But an ECI doesn’t fail just because the Commission rejects it for legal reasons. We can still have a political dialogue.

This is absolute nonsense. Timmermans is either not well briefed, or he hasn’t read his briefing. The truth is that ‘One of Us’ did submit a concrete legislative proposal to the Commission, and that the Commission has never argued that that proposal was not within the remit of the EU’s competences.

If the guy doesn’t even get this one right, he will be a complete failure.