The Government has submitted the names of Ms Mairead McGuinness, currently First Vice President of the European Parliament, and Mr Andrew McDowell, until recently Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
Both Mairead and Andrew are candidates of distinction, experience and ability.
Both are part of the Fine Gael family. Mairead McGuinness has served as a Fine Gael MEP for 16 years. She has played a leading role in the European Parliament, most recently as its First Vice President.
Having previously served as the Chief Economist for Forfás, Andrew McDowell then served as Director of Policy for Fine Gael, Chief Economic Adviser in the Office of the Taoiseach and most recently as Vice President of the European Investment Bank.
The person ultimately chosen will be amongst the European People Party’s group on the Commission and so therefore the political balance of the Commission will remain unchanged. Both candidates are champions of free enterprise, free trade, European integration and the building of a Social Europe.
Both of them would bring strong skills to the European Commission. As a Commissioner they would of course put first the interests of Europe. They would however be able to do so having a strong understanding of Ireland’s particular concerns.