EC President Oks Tonio Borg as Malta's Commissioner-Designate

Bulgaria in EU | October 22, 2012, Monday // 19:07|  views

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tonio Borg, is likely to soon represent Malta in the EC. Photo by EPA/BGNES

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has approved the bid of Tonio Borg to become Malta's new EU Commissioner after the resignation of John Dalli.

Barroso met Monday with Borg, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Malta, who has been named by Malta as the Commissioner-designate to fill the vacancy in the Health and Consumer Protection portfolio for the remainder of the mandate of the College.

After the meeting, President Barroso confirmed to the Maltese Prime Minister his agreement for Borg's candidacy to proceed in view of the procedure set out in Article 246 (2) TFEU and point 6 of the Framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the European Commission, the EC said in a statement.

Borg is to replace European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli, who resigned last following an investigation for involvement in fraud.

John Dalli's name has been mentioned in an investigation by the EU's anti-fraud agency OLAF, stated the European Commission.

OLAF has acted on an alert by Swedish Match that complained about a Maltese businessman trying to exert influence over the company citing his alleged closeness to Dalli.

The businessman referred to the possibility of lifting a ban on EU imports of snus, a tobacco product manufactured by Swedish Match. The Maltese tried to financially benefit from his alleged influence.

In its report, OLAF has stated it has no proof that Dalli has been actually personally involved in the case. The commissioner has resolutely denied the implications, but stated he chose to resign so as not to harm the EC's reputation.

His duties were temporarily taken up by EU's Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration, Slovakia's Maro? ?ef?ovi?.

In February 2010, Malta's John Dalli was appointed the EU's Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner in Jose Manuel Barroso's second EC College.

It remains unclear what exact post will be assigned to Borg since Barroso has hinted Dalli's departure might also prompt a reshuffle of the Commissioners. Borg is to remain at his Maltese posts until he is formally approved by Brussels.

Borg was born on 12 May, 1957. He studied at St Aloysius College and later at the University of Malta from where he graduated as a lawyer in 1979. He is a constitutional lawyer and a human rights specialist.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1992 and continued to be elected ever since. In 1995 he was appointed Minister of the Interior. After the 198 election, Borg was appointed Minister of the Interior and the Environment. After the 2003 election he served as Minister of Justice and Home Affairs and in 2008 was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 2004 onwards he also served as Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the House of Representatives.

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Tags: Swedish Match, OLAF, EU, EC, Jose Manuel Barroso, Malta, John Dalli, Maltese, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tonio Borg, Maltese, EC


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