Incoming European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso says he is close to finalizing the lineup of his new team for the European Union's top executive body.

Mr. Barroso told reporters in Brussels he will finalize his list once he receives the name of Italy's nominee to replace Rocco Buttiglione. Mr. Barroso withdrew his designated team last week in face of a threatened European Parliament veto because of the Italian politician's views on women and homosexuality. Earlier this week, Latvia also replaced its nominee, because of objections from European lawmakers.

Mr. Barroso's comments came in advance of Thursday's start of a two-day European summit, where he will brief EU leaders on his efforts.

The EU leaders also are expected to consider such issues as Iraq and the Middle East. The 25 EU leaders are to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi Friday.

Some information for this story provided by AP and AFP.