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Phil Hogan, speaking at an event in Germany last year. DPA/PA Images
Staying Put

Phil Hogan pulls out from race to take top World Trade Organisation job

Phil Hogan, Ireland’s EU Trade Commissioner, announced the decision this morning.

IRELAND’S EU TRADE Commissioner Phil Hogan has pulled out of the race to be the nest World Trade Organisation director general. 

In a statement, Hogan said that he had “decided that I will not be putting my name forward for the position of Director-General of the World Trade Organisation. I have informed the President of the Commission today. In consultation and approval of President Von Der Leyen, I will return to my duties of Trade Commissioner with immediate effect”. 

Hogan has been Ireland’s representative in the European Commission since 2014, first as the EU’s Agriculture Commissioner before switching to the Trade portfolio last December. 

“The European Union, as one of the largest trading blocks in the world, will continue to work constructively with like-minded countries to achieve the objectives of a more effective and efficient WTO. All members that want free, fair and sustainable trade should do likewise,” he said. 

A departure by Hogan from the European Commission to the WTO would have meant that Ireland would have had to nominate another commissioner. 

Referencing challenges to trade such as the Covid-19 pandemic and tensions with Donald Trump’s US administration, Hogan said that the EU trade agenda requires “full and careful involvement”. 

“The EU will work constructively with the new Director-General of the WTO to achieve our mutual objectives. My best wishes to the candidates in the coming months,” he said. 

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