BREAKING NEWS: European Commission shake-up sees Ireland lose key trade portfolio

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, wearing a protective face mask, arrives for a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Aug. 27.

President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, wearing a protective face mask, arrives for a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels, Thursday, Aug. 27.

Ireland’s Mairead McGuinness has been appointed commissioner for financial services, stability and capital markets union as Ireland loses the key trade portfolio following the resignation of Phil Hogan.

Meanwhile, Valdis Dombrovskis has been appointed trade commissioner as part of a reshuffle of the Commission announced by President Ursula von der Leyen.

Dombrovskis is the former prime minister of Latvia and has been acting trade commissioner since Hogan’s resignation.

McGuinness had “significant experience on EU issues,” von der Leyen said at a press conference on Tuesday.

McGuinness has been First Vice-President of the European Parliament since 2017.

The Irish government had put forward Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell as candidates to be the country’s next EU commissioner after former trade commissioner Phil Hogan resigned following controversy over flouting covid-19 restrictions in Ireland.

In a statement, Hogan said he resigned after it became “increasingly clear” the incident was becoming a “distraction” from his work as a commissioner.

It was thought that Von der Leyen would nominate McGuiness in an effort to keep a gender balance amid her 27-member team. If confirmed as commissioner, it will be made up of 14 men and 13 women.

Hogan’s resignation came at a time when the bloc is involved in several high profile trade negotiations with the UK, US and China.

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