We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.
Irish EU commissioner

Simon Coveney not ruling himself out for EU Commissioner post

Former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald has said she is interested in the role.

MINISTER FOR FOREIGN Affairs Simon Coveney has said he is not ruling himself out as a candidate for the Irish EU Commissioner post. 

Coveney has been tipped as the person who will succeed Phil Hogan. Speaking to RTÉ’s News at One, Coveney said he was not ruling himself out but said he does not have a decision to make until there is a request from the government.

He said national politics has been “a huge part of my life and still is” and the only reason he would consider a change in focus is if he felt he could add to Ireland’s chances to increase our influence in the Commission. 

“I would need to have a very good reason to move away from the focus I have at the moment, which is a privilege and hugely important,” he said. 

Earlier, former Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald said she is interested in becoming the next Irish EU Commissioner. The former Justice Minister and MEP confirmed to that she wants to be considered for the job.

“Yes, I am interested of course in being considered for such an important and challenging position,” she said.

Fitzgerald follows Máiread McGuinness in expressing interest in the role which was previously held by Phil Hogan.

Fitzgerald acknowledged that it is a “difficult and demanding decision for government” with the Covid-19 pandemic ongoing and with Brexit around the corner. 

“I recognise there are a number of candidates with different skill sets, including my own,” she said.

Yesterday, McGuinness cited her years of work in Brussels and made clear her ambition to succeed Phil Hogan, who resigned as EU trade commissioner last week.

Discussions of who the Irish government will put forward to fill the role will continue this week after the  EU called on Dublin to put forward a male and female candidate.

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe ruled themselves out of the running last week.

Veteran politician Hogan faced deep disquiet from the Irish Government and intense scrutiny of whether his extensive movements around the country broke coronavirus regulations.

His resignation came a week after revelations of the golf dinner emerged.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said she respected the resignation of Hogan, adding that she was “very grateful” for his “tireless and successful work”.

- With reporting by Michelle Hennessy.

Readers like you are keeping these stories free for everyone...
A mix of advertising and supporting contributions helps keep paywalls away from valuable information like this article. Over 5,000 readers like you have already stepped up and support us with a monthly payment or a once-off donation.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel