Monday 14 October 2019

Phil Hogan strongly endorsed as the EU’s new Trade Commissioner

Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

IRELAND’S Phil Hogan has been strongly endorsed as the EU’s new Trade Commissioner.

The role will place him at the centre of future trade negotiations between the EU and the UK after Brexit.

Mr Hogan went through a three hour grilling before the European Parliament’s International Trade Committee yesterday.

He faced questions ranging from his attitude to the Mercesor trade deal to how he will deal with Donald Trump’s administration.

European Trade Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan speaks at his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman
European Trade Commissioner-designate Phil Hogan speaks at his hearing before the European Parliament in Brussels. Photo: REUTERS/Yves Herman

One of the first tasks being planned by the Kilkenny man is a trip to the United States to try repair EU-US relations.

The appointment is seen as a major coup for Ireland because Trade is viewed as one of the most important portfolios in the EU Commission.

Mr Hogan received the support of all the political groupings in the EU Parliament except the Green Party.

They said the climate emergency demands "concrete and ambitious action" which was not reflected in his plan for the job.

Mr Hogan said he is "honoured" to have won approval.

"I therefore look forward to working very closely with EU Trade MEPs and the European Council," he said.

"I hope to justify the trust they have placed in me to deliver on our shared agenda.

"As President-elect of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen said: Our trade policy 'allows us to build partnerships, protect our market from unfair practices and ensure our values and standards are protected'."

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