MEPs to challenge Hogan on EU post
IRELAND's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan this week faces a gruelling ratification hearing before European Parliament members who have effective power to deprive him of the job.
Mr Hogan, set to take control of the €60bn per year agriculture portfolio, has been lobbying key MEPs especially the powerful parliament agriculture committee. But he also faces heavy criticism from three Irish MEPs who oppose him.
At a three-hour session in Brussels on Thursday morning, Mr Hogan faces questions about his knowledge of €80m spending on consultants at Irish Water; his ministerial input into cancelling a planning investigation; and intervention in controversy over housing a traveller family in Kilkenny.
Up to late last week, it was apparent that Phil Hogan was less likely to be in the firing line at these hearings. Brussels diplomats said the nominees from Britain, Spain, France and Hungary were more likely to be at risk of being rejected.
But Independent Dublin MEP Nessa Childers last week gained some attention in Europe with a complaint that Mr Hogan was intimidating her by threatening legal actions against her which amounted to interference with her parliamentary rights.