Ireland names two candidates to succeed disgraced EU commissioner Hogan
Share article:
Share article:

Ireland names two candidates to succeed disgraced EU commissioner Hogan

Mairead McGuinness, MEP. © own website

The Irish government has nominated two candidates to succeed former EU commissioner Phil Hogan, who resigned at the end of August, the Irish Times reports.

The candidates are Mairead McGuinness, currently an MEP, and Andrew McDowell, a vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB). In line with the request from Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, the government presented a woman and a man for consideration.

Hogan was finally obliged to resign over the scandal known as Golfgate, in which he was accused of breaking the republic’s rules on protection from the coronavirus by travelling without good reason and by attending a dinner at a gold club where around 80 guests were present.

Hogan had been a member of the Commission since 2014, serving under Jean-Claude Juncker as commissioner for agriculture, and later under Von der Leyen on trade, a dossier crucial to the interests of Ireland as Brexit approaches.

Mairead McGuinness has been an MEP since 2017, and is now first vice-president of the parliament, as well as being tipped to take over from current president, Italian David Sassoli, when his term ends at the beginning of 2022. Her background is in agricultural economics and journalism.

Andrew McDowell was chief economic advisor to former Taoiseach Enda Kenny before going to the EIB, where he ended his fixed term appointment as vice-president just last week. He has been credited with leading the Kenny government’s mission to avoid an international bailout and to return to economic recovery.

McDowell’s name was not mentioned in the initial stages of the search for candidates to replace Hogan. Others tipped for the post were foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney and MEP and former justice minister Frances Fitzgerald, who finally had to give way to McGuinness to meet President von der Leyen’s request for male and female contenders.

The two names have now been communicated to the Commission president, who will meet the two candidates and consult with the European Parliament before making her choice. Only then will she decide what dossier the new Irish commissioner will be in charge of.

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Austria presents bill to legalise euthanasia
Austria’s government on Saturday presented its proposals for legalising assisted suicide, in response to a Constitutional Court ruling that the ...
Brussels’ Museum Night Fever draws in some 12,000 visitors
Some 12,000 participants took part in the 14th edition of Museum Night Fever in Brussels, with the 29 participating museums filled to the maximum ...
Relaunch of 10,000 steps campaign to get Flemish people moving
The Flemish government is breathing new life into its 10,000 steps campaign to get people in the region moving after a recent survey found that a ...
‘No scientific basis’ for giving everyone third dose, vaccine expert says
The head of Belgium's Vaccination Taskforce has argued that there is not enough scientific evidence to support the Flemish government's decision to ...
Re-introducing face masks indoors considered as Covid-19 situation worsens
Belgium's council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss the worsening epidemiological situation, and reintroducing face ...
Threats of strike action could affect Brussels’ STIB network from Monday
Brussels public transport operator STIB's trams, buses and metros could be affected from Monday 25 October onwards as the union representing the ...
Brussels bars linked to alleged sexual assault vouch to improve women’s safety
The management of the two bars in Ixelles, which made headlines in recent days after several young women reported that they had been drugged then ...
European Council: Decisions on Covid-19 and energy and debate on other issues
At the two-days summit which ended on Friday, the European Council adopted conclusions on COVID-19, digital, energy prices, migration, trade and ...
Flanders ‘water bomb’ could cause €2 billion in damages and affect thousands
The next "water bomb" or heavy rainfall over Flanders could cause damages estimated at around €2 billion, and could affect up to 100,000 people in ...
Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine 90% effective in 5 to 11-year-olds
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is 90.7% effective in preventing symptomatic forms of the coronavirus in children aged five to 11, Pfizer announced on ...
Belgian airport named best for cargo in Europe
Brussels Airport has been named the best airport in Europe in a 2021 roundup of the best cargo airports across the world. The Asian Freight, ...
NASA plans first return mission to Moon in February 2022
The United States space agency, NASA, has announced that it will be aiming to launch its first, uncrewed mission to the moon, Artemis 1, in February ...