On 13 November 2012, Tonio Borg, Member designate of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy, was auditioned by the European Parliament. The main objectives of the hearings are to prepare the way for the vote confirming the new Commissioners by the EP. The hearing process also allows the Commissioners designate of the Commission of José Manuel Barroso the opportunity to set out their ideas on their future responsibilities and allows the Members of the EP to ask them questions.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the EP building in Brussels
||Arrival of Tonio Borg, Member designate of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy
||General atmosphere prior the hearing (7 shots)
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg, Member designate of the EC in charge of Health and Consumer Policy (in ENGLISH): This portfolio represents what I call Europe on the ground; I would also call it the people portfolio since it covers practical day to day issues affecting patients and consumers.
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): I shall be independent and objective but above all European; I have dedicated most of my political life which spends over the last 30 years towards the accession of Malta to the European Union. Why? Because I believe and I uphold European values (3 shots)
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): In the area of Health my number one priority would be to rapidly present an ambitious proposal on tobacco products; Smoking is the biggest cause of premature death; 95% of all smokers start smoking before they reach 25 years of age and 70 % even before 18; I smoked my first cigarette at the age of 16 (3 shots)
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): My second priority would be to improve the situation of patients in the EU by helping Member States in their efforts to adapt to the challenges of rising chronic diseases and ageing in a context of severe fiscal constraints.
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in MALTESE) saying that another initiative that he, if confirmed, will present at the beginning of next year together with Commissioner Barnier is an initiative on bank accounts aimed at ensuring that consumers obtain information in a transparent manner and can effectively switch their account.
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): I shall be eager to present a package of proposals on plant health, animal health , seeds and food and feed expenditure for the period 2014-2020 and control very early next year.
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): Animal welfare is an important European value which I fully endorsed; Indeed the Treaties themselves refer to animal as and I quote sensitive beings; My focus would be to significantly improve the situation of animals by better application and stricter enforcement of existing laws (2 shots)
||Soundbite by Tonio Borg (in ENGLISH): Europe should never loose its social compass; Health and Consumer policies are areas where action at EU level has clear and tangible benefits for consumers and patients; If I earn your trust I can promise, you I shall serve with maximum energy to the very best of my abilities and shall seek to work closely with this House towards realising the potential of these policies for a better Europe.
||General views of the meeting: applause (3 shots)