Commissioner Hogan ‘exploring’ options amid WTO talk

European Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan is “exploring” his options regarding a potential candidacy for the role of director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

Following a meeting of EU trade ministers yesterday morning, Tuesday, June 9, the commissioner confirmed that he was “exploring” his options.

He added that his consideration was very much in the “exploratory phase”.

The commissioner noted that the majority of member states have indicated support for a single EU candidate, which he found “encouraging”.

Commissioner Hogan was assigned to the role of trade commissioner last September by President of the European Commission Ursula Von Der Leyen.

The Kilkenny man was nominated by the Irish Government to remain for a second term as Ireland’s member of the European Commission after five years in the role of commissioner for agriculture, from 2014 to 2019.

WTO role

Outgoing WTO director-general Roberto Azevedo announced at a virtual meeting of WTO members in May that he would step down on August 31, cutting his second term in the role short by one year, for a total of seven years as director-general.

WTO members established a month-long nomination window to select a panel of candidates from which to appoint Azevedo’s successor, from June 8 to July 8.

To date, there have been three nominations at the time of writing – Jesus Seade Kuri; Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; and Abdel-Hamid Mamdough, from Mexico, Nigeria and Egypt respectively.