Brussels Trade Role Up for Grabs as Ireland Puts Forward EU Candidates



Jim Brunsden | Sam Fleming| Financial Times

Ireland is set to lose the EU’s coveted trade policy portfolio as European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen prepares to vet contenders sent by Dublin to replace Phil Hogan as the country’s member of the bloc’s executive arm. 

Dublin met Ms von der Leyen’s demand to put forward two candidates — a man and a woman — to succeed Mr Hogan after he was forced out of the commission over his breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in his native Ireland.

The Irish government has nominated Mairead McGuinness, the first vice-president of the European Parliament, and Andrew McDowell, a former vice-president of the European Investment Bank, as its two contenders to become the country’s new commissioner. 

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