Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney will not be Ireland’s new EU commissioner; Instead, cabinet nominated Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell
The Irish people and their representatives are waiting to see who will be the new person to the post as EU Commissioner Phil Hogan resigned days ago on the grounds that he violated the Covid protocol.
It was widely expected that Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney would be nominated for the post. The general opinion was that Coveney had been a Brexit man for more than two years, and that he was now the third most important Irish man, and he has much respect in Ireland and Brussels.
But to everyone’s surprise, news has come out that Simon Coveney will not be Ireland’s new EU Commissioner. Instead, the government is putting forward the names of Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell, a former Fine Gael advisor.
According to government sources, the Cabinet called a meeting and proposed and approved the nomination of the two.
Following the conference, the Taoiseach Micheal Martin wrote to the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, with two names to be nominated as a member of the European Commission.
Ms. von der Leyen tweeted that, according to Michael Martin, Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell were nominated as Irish candidates for the post of Commissioner.
The government statement said the two nominees are high-profile candidates and believed they have the necessary skills, independence and a European commitment to work differently in the role of commissioner.
President von der Leyen will now consult the European Parliament until the appointment of a new Commissioner is made by the Council, in cooperation with the President of the Commission.
At the same time, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said that Simon Coveney is a very talented man and would certainly have become an upper class commissioner if he had decided to go ahead.
Sources indicate that Mr. Coveney ‘s interest in the post decreased dramatically in the last 48 hours, as it was clear that he would not maintain a business portfolio and that the government would send two names – one female and one male.
Mr. Coveney’s refusal to rule himself out formally has caused anger to some extent.
President von der Leyen requested that the names of a woman and a man be submitted, in line with the Commission’s preference for pursuing gender equality.