Monday 29 May 2017

Creighton, not Hogan, should go to Brussels

Former Europe ­minister would stand greatest chance of ­landing big-hitting role when commissioner portfolios are handed out, writes Dan O'Brien

24th October 2013 - Brussels, Belgium - Pictured at the summit of the European Peoples Party (EPP) prior to the European Council meeting were, left to right, Lucinda Creighton T.D.
Photo by Peter Cavanagh [Must Credit]
24th October 2013 - Brussels, Belgium - Pictured at the summit of the European Peoples Party (EPP) prior to the European Council meeting were, left to right, Lucinda Creighton T.D. Photo by Peter Cavanagh [Must Credit]

The practice of doling out important public jobs for purely political reasons is so embedded that it is often taken for granted. The gifting of Ireland's European commissionership by the government of the day is a case in point.

Since Ray MacSharry went to Brussels 25 years ago, subsequent appointments by successive governments have been made for reasons of convenience, expediency or as a "reward". The best interests of the country and the boosting of influence in Europe - which should be the only real criteria considered - have hardly entered into the equation.

Ireland is certainly not alone in the haphazard and politicised way it uses its right to nominate a commissioner, but some countries are more strategic than others.

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