Commission president receives report from Hogan – but wants further clarification

The president of the European Commission has received a report from Phil Hogan concerning his attendance at the Oireachtas Golf Society event in Co. Galway last week.

However, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has requested that Commissioner Hogan, the European Commissioner for Trade, provide “further clarification”.

A commission spokesperson said today (Monday, August 24), that President von der Leyen is examining the report that Commissioner Hogan provided yesterday.

“This is a matter that requires careful assessment on our side. It is a matter where details count,” the spokesperson said.

The president has requested further clarification because details are important and she wished to have them.

One sticking point for the commission, the spokesperson pointed out, was that Covid-19 regulations were different in some counties (including Co. Kildare, which Commissioner Hogan is understood to have travelled to before making his way to Co. Galway last week).

When pressed by reporters, the spokesperson explained that the mandate of a commissioner can end “on his resignation or when he is requested to resign by the president of the commission”.

It is important that the rules in respect of coronavirus are respected. It is also important to the president to be fair. This is why all facts are being put on the table with the necessary clarification and details.

“She [the commission president] is in the process of gathering facts and this is where we stand now,” the spokesperson added.

Should he stay or should he go?

The debate over whether Commissioner Hogan should resign has raged all weekend.

In some quarters, it has been argued that he is too important to Irish interests to leave, and that calling for such a move is unhelpful.

However, others have not taken this line, and have called for his resignation, irrespective of any important role he might play as trade commissioner from an Irish point of view.

In fact, AgriLand has a poll on this question. If you would like to have your say on the matter, click here.