The Brussels-based European Dignity Watch, has hit out at what it sees as a coordinated campaign opposing the nomination of Tonio Borg to the European Commission.

Dr Borg is due to be questioned by MEPs on Tuesday.

In a statement, the NGO said Dr  Borg is an ideal nominee in view of his qualifications and experience.

"But for weeks, a coalition of special interest groups and NGOs have been mounting an aggressive negative campaign against Dr Borg. 

"In articles, blog-posts and tweets, his critics— first and foremost the European Humanist Federation, the International Planned Parenthood Federation, and the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA)—have focused their attacks on Dr. Borg’s Christian faith and his personal views on issues like abortion, same-sex ‘marriage’ and divorce.

"None of these fall under EU competence or have anything to do with the portfolio Dr. Borg would inherit if confirmed. And yet, his opponents, disrespectful of the principle of subsidiarity enshrined in the EU treaties, claim that these are not ‘European values’. They even go as far as to assert that he has ‘extremist values’.

"In other words, according to these vocal lobby groups, simply holding Christian beliefs on social issues is a sign of extremism" the NGO said.

"This would have certainly surprised the ‘founding fathers’ of European integration, many of whom were devout Christians who based the European project on Christian principles such as solidarity, subsidiarity and human dignity.

"The vast majority of European citizens today are Christians. To portray Christianity as ‘extremism’ is hateful and intolerant propaganda, much of it disseminated by various NGOs who hold themselves rather extreme views of a minority of radical secularists, abortion and LGBT advocates. But the message of their sabre-rattling in the lead-up to the hearing is clear: European values are not Christian values—and Christian values are incompatible with European values.

"There is a fundamental arrogance in the assertion made by Dr. Borg’s opponents that only views closely aligned with their own can be considered ‘truly European’—that their secularist, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and anti-Christian agenda is ‘more European’ than mainstream views. This campaign is not about having a public debate on European values, it is about denying a qualified person to hold a high-ranking office in the EU because he is a Christian."

Yesterday, a Swedish Liberal MEP, Cecilia Wikström, urged the Liberal group to vote against Dr Borg, describing him as a political dinosaur for his objections to abortion and divorce and the treatment of migrants.

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