Ireland loses powerful EU trade portfolio after commission reshuffle

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Ursula von der Leyen

IRELAND has lost the influential trade portfolio after President Ursula von der Leyen reshuffled the European Commission and proposed Latvia’s Valdis Dombrovskis take up the role.

The shake-up came in the wake of Ireland’s Phil Hogan resigning as EU trade chief after he flouted regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Dombrovskis currently serves an EU Commission vice president and had temporarily taken over Hogan’s duties since he stepped down last month.

Trade is one of the most powerful portfolios in the commission and is responsible for negotiating commercial relations with partner countries on behalf of the 27 member states.

This includes negotiations for a deal with post-Brexit Britain and easing trade tensions with the United States.

Ireland’s seat in the European Commission is now set to go to EU parliamentarian Mairead McGuinness.

McGuinness should take over as an EU commissioner for financial services under von der Leyen’s plan.

“Mrs McGuinness has significant political experience on EU issues,” the commission president said on Tuesday.

McGuinness has served as the first vice president of the European Parliament since 2017 and has been a member of the European Parliament since 2004. (dpa/NAN)

– Sept. 8, 2020 @ 15:39 GMT |

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