The European Parliament’s preferred candidate for FRA

LIBE Committee Members gave this morning their order of preferences for the selection of the new Director of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA):

Lousewies van der Laan : 32 votes

Michael O’Flaherty : 30 votes

Ilze Brands Kehris : 9 votes

While the run-up between van der Laan and O’Flaherty is narrow (and thus not pre-empting the outcome of the final decision) the third candidate, Mrs. Brands Kehris, definitely seems out of the game. In other words, the Committee has expressed a clear preference for persons who openly promote radical political agendas (pro-abortion, pro-sodomy, pro-euthanasia, pro-surrogacy, etc.), and against the more “neutral” apparatchik-style candidate (whom we, in an earlier post, have described as the least bad of three very bad candidates).

But then, we really have no strong preference regarding who of these three bad candidates should be selected. Indeed, the appointment of either Mrs. van der Laan or Mr. O’Flaherty might in a certain sense  turn out to be very appropriate decision: with a Director like this, it would be clearer than ever before that the Agency is not to be trusted as a neutral and objective provider of fundamental-rights-related expertise. Instead, the European Commission and some groups in the European Parliament want to politicize it, turning it into a sheltered workshop for political appointees with radical agendas.

According to the procedure, the Council will also give its own Opinion. Then, “the Management Board will appoint the Director taking these opinions into account”. It was said today that the Management board of the FRA will meet in September to appoint the new Director.