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IRELAND

RTE's Paul Cunningham tweets: "The Cabinet is meeting to approve Euro Parl VP Mairead McGuinness and former EIB official Andrew McDowell to be Ireland's nominees to replace Phil Hogan as Ireland's next EU Commissioner. The nominees were chosen by the FF, FG and Green leaders earlier."

  • The Irish gov't has been requested by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to submit two names (one male and one female) as candidates to replace outgoing Trade Commissioner from Ireland Phil Hogan, who resigned following the revelation he had broken Ireland's COVID-19 restrictions to attend a golfing dinner.
  • There is no guarantee that the candidate that is eventually chosen as the Commissioner will retain the trade portfolio at the Commission. It is a highly sought-after position among the College of Commissioners, with VdL stating that the 'competences' of the individual selected will influence what portfolio they receive.
  • If the Irish candidate does not receive the trade portfolio it could lead to a major reorganisation of the Commission at a time when the body is facing trouble in securing the next long-term EU budget, dealing with a rising second wave of COVID-19 infections, and attempting to reach an FTA deal with the UK before it leaves the single market and customs union at year-end.
MNI London Bureau | +44 203-865-0981 | tom.lake@marketnews.com