McGuinness expected to be confirmed as EU Commissioner

Mairead McGuinness is expected to officially become Ireland’s next EU Commissioner this week.

The outgoing MEP faces a vote in the European Parliament today (Wednesday October 7) where she had been serving as first vice-president.

The results of that vote are expected around 1:15pm Irish time and if successful, she must then be approved by the European Council later this week.

She’s set to replace party colleague Phil Hogan who resigned in August over the ‘golfgate’ scandal in Clifden, Co. Galway.

Portfolio

McGuinness, who will take on the Financial Services, Financial Stability and the Capital Markets Union portfolio, appeared before a European Parliament hearing in Brussels last week (October 2) to determine if she is a suitable candidate to be Ireland’s new commissioner.

McGuinness, a native of Ardee, Co. Louth, was elected as an MEP for the north-west constituency of Ireland and was a member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development in the EU parliament.

Green Party MEP for Ireland South Grace O’Sullivan says her party is backing McGuinness today: “Overall, the majority of Green MEPs will be voting in favour of Mairead McGuinness.

“I think it’s a good thing for Ireland. It’s good to have a woman who has huge experience in the European Parliament; she knows how institutes operate here in Europe.”

McGuinness’ Fine Gael party colleague Deirdre Clune MEP said: “What came out to me when listening to the hearing was the fact that she is a member of parliament.

She’s directly elected by the people in the North-West Midlands [constituency], so she has a real sense of what people on the ground want and expect from the European institutions and I think that’s very important.

“We hear often of the ‘democratic deficit’ that is there in the European Commission – ‘unelected bureaucrats’ is what you hear sometimes, but this time we’re getting a real politician,” she said.