‘He would do a very good job’ – Kelly backs Hogan for EU trade role

Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly has given his backing to Phil Hogan, saying that the current European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development would be suited to the role of trade commissioner.

There has been much speculation over what position Commissioner Hogan would take in the new European Commission, after he was nominated for another five years by the Irish Government.

“He was in agriculture; he probably won’t get that again. Normally they don’t get the same portfolio a second time. I haven’t see anyone get it a second time in my 10 years here,” explained Kelly.

Trade has been mentioned, and that would be a good one, because we are a trading country with a small open economy.

According to Kelly, having Commissioner Hogan in the trade role would be a benefit for Ireland, especially where Mercosur is concerned.

“He would understand our position, and in relation to Mercosur, you can see there that there are going to be a lot of issues which we have concerns about, but also opportunities,” said the Co. Kerry native.

“If he gets [Commissioner for Trade] I think he would do a very good job,” concluded Kelly.

Support for Commissioner Hogan was also expressed across the Irish party divide.

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher said that it would be good for Ireland if Commissioner Hogan was given a good role in the European Commission.

“From what I can see, knowing Phil Hogan for many years, but certainly in the context of his position in Europe, he’s well thought of,” said Kelleher.

“He’s seen as a hard worker and he’s seen as a person that is determined, so I believe that he should be able to secure a very important commissionership,” he added.

While, like Kelly, Kelleher threw doubt on the possibility of Commissioner Hogan carrying on in agriculture, he said that it “would obviously be good for Ireland” if the commissioner secured one of the top jobs.