Wed. Oct 21st, 2020
Simon Coveney understood to be most likely nominee for EU commissioner role

The Government has not yet decided if it will nominate two candidates for the post of EU commissioner despite a request from president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen to put forward one man and one woman.

Senior Government sources believe it is increasingly likely the Government will nominate one candidate instead with the current Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney seen as the frontrunner.

Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness confirmed on Sunday that she would be interested in succeeding Phil Hogan as Ireland’s European Commissioner and suggested it would be “unwise” for the Government not to put forward both male and female candidates for the role.

A spokeswoman for the Government said that the three party leaders met on Friday to discuss the issue and would meet again on Monday, and there had also been contacts over the weekend.

“It is in everyone’s interest to fill the vacancy as soon as possible but there is a process in Brussels as well with president and parliament.”

‘Difficult patch’

Mr Hogan resigned from his position following controversy over his attendance at an Oireachtas golf society dinner and questions around his movements throughout Ireland before and afterwards in apparent breach of Covid-19 guidelines.

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