Mairead McGuinness has been officially approved as Ireland’s next EU Commissioner following a vote in the European Parliament today (Wednesday, October 7).
McGuinness was named Ireland’s new EU Commissioner last month, having been selected as Phil Hogan’s successor by the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Hogan has resigned in light of the Golfgate scandal.
The Ardee woman has been handed the Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union brief as announced by Ms von der Leyen last month, after, as expected, Ireland lost the trade portfolio.
In a vote taken in Brussels on Wednesday mornings, the MEPs approved the appointment of Fine Gael MEP with a vote of 583 in favour and 75 against.
The appointments are likely to be approved by the national leaders of the EU in the European Council in the coming days.
Writing on Twitter on Wednesday, President von der Leyen said; “Well done, Mairead McGuinness, for convincing the European Parliament to support you for the post of Commissioner! I know you will do a great job on EU financial services, in the frontline of our recovery efforts. Your experience will be very valuable.”
Within days of Hogan’s resignation, the one-time broadcaster confirmed her interest in the role and she was considered the clear favourite by many to take the post. Both she and the other candidate, former European Investment Bank vice-president Andrew McDowell, were interviewed by Ursula von der Leyen early in September.
McGuinness will be replaced in the European Parliament by Fine Gael councillor Colm Markey, who is leaving Louth County Council to take up a position as an MEP in Brussels.
McGuinness was always seen as a viable candidate given her knowledge of and experience in Brussels, as well as her own personal background in agriculture, which was seen at one time as a likely brief should President von der Leyen decide on a reshuffle. However, she has been handed the financial services brief with Ireland losing the much sought after trade portfolio in a reshuffle.
McGuinness is currently a Fine Gael MEP representing the Midlands North West and First Vice-President of the European Parliament. She has been an MEP for six years and a Vice-President of the EPP for almost four years.