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8th September 2020 | Press Releases

Irish Green MEPs welcome Commission decision on Irish commissioner

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Today Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced her decision on the new Irish commissioner and their portfolio, assigning Mairéad McGuinness the financial services portfolio. This follows the resignation of Phil Hogan after a public outcry over his trip to Ireland last month in which he failed to respect the Irish government’s guidelines on Covid-19. The Commissioner-designate will now have to face the European Parliament in a hearing before a vote on her candidacy takes place.

Ciarán Cuffe, MEP for Dublin said, ‘’I welcome the swift decision by Von der Leyen on the Irish appointment and the fact that it contributes to achieving gender parity in the College of Commissioners. If approved by the European Parliament, her new responsibilities in financial services and financial stability will prove challenging as the EU navigates the stormy waters of Brexit and the Covid-19 recovery. However there are many opportunities to promote sustainable finance, as the European Union enacts the European Green Deal.

“I look forward to seeing Ms. McGuinness’ performance in the hearing that will assess her suitability and wish her well. It’s important that the Commission gets on with its work as soon as possible so that we can rebuild from Covid-19 and address the unfolding climate crisis.”

Grace O’Sullivan, MEP for Ireland South said: “From the outset I supported Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen’s commitment to addressing gender balance in the Commission when I called on the government previously to nominate two candidates. I was pleased to see them concur with that request in this more recent process.

“I’m happy that the successful candidate is a woman with a deep insight into European institutions as a result of her 16 years’ experience in the European Parliament. I wish Mairéad the best in her hearing where MEPs will be assessing her suitability for the role.

“If she is successful I look forward to continuing a positive and productive working relationship, engaging with her as the European Parliament and European Commission work to tackle the current health and climate crises facing humanity.”