Mairead McGuinness appointed as Ireland’s European commissioner

Long-serving Fine Gael MEP to be given financial services portfolio

Mairead McGuinness has been picked to be the next Irish commissioner following the resignation of Phil Hogan and will be given the financial services portfolio.

“Mrs McGuinness has significant political experience on EU issues having been an MEP since 2004, and currently holding the post of first vice-president of the European Parliament,” European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said as she made the announcement.

“This experience is crucial in carrying forward the EU’s financial sector policy agenda and ensuring it supports and strengthens the commission’s key priority, notably the twin green and digital transition.”

The long-serving Fine Gael MEP, who has been vice-president of the European Parliament since 2014, has a high profile in Brussels and was widely tipped for the role.

The trade portfolio will be assumed by Latvia’s Valdis Dombrovskis, a former prime minister and commissioner since 2014 who had been caretaking the position since Mr Hogan stepped down amid controversy over his breaking of Covid-19 self-isolation rules in Ireland.

The Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union portfolio that McGuinness will assume was previously part of Mr Dombrovskis’ brief, and involves leading the commission’s banking and finance reforms.

The decision came a day after Dr von der Leyen interviewed McGuinness and fellow nominee, the former European Investment Bank vice-president Andrew McDowell. The Irish Government put forward the two names after Dr von der Leyen requested both “a woman and a man” be nominated for the role.

Dr von der Leyen described both as “excellent candidates” with “experience of EU matters, of course from different perspectives”.

McGuinness will now be subject to scrutiny and a hearing in the European Parliament, before the new make-up of the commission must be approved by MEPs in a vote.

 

Source: Irish Times

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