Dublin Independent MEP, Nessa Childers, said that the government should have shown greater political maturity in their choice for the next Irish Commissioner.
“We have disgraced ourselves yet again. By proposing former Minister Phil Hogan as the next Irish Commissioner the Government is following a pattern whereby Brussels is used as a retirement home or reward for services to the party.
“This approach will be challenged by MEPs who have promised to take a strong line on the lack of gender balance, and track record, when it comes to approving the next European Commission.
“There was hope with the appointment of Maire Geoghegan Quinn as the last Irish European Commissioner that Ireland had grown up when it came to EU appointments. That the government would take a more measured and long term approach to this important position and also act on the strong message delivered at the recent local and European election.
‘There was a clear mandate given to the European candidates who opposed austerity. To regain public trust in politics we also need a Commissioner who is not encumbered by association to both this government and the last government.
‘The government could send a strong signal that it is prepared to bring about the political reform promised in the programme for government, and choose someone from outside their ranks. I had hoped that the government should consider choosing an independent woman, to improve gender balance in the make-up of the Commission, and who will stand up for people in Ireland and across Europe
‘In the European Parliament and in the Commission, Ireland needs representatives who are not afraid to deliver on the Irish bank debt and work towards an EU wide job creation strategy. My fear is that former Minister Hogan will be too attached to the status quo and austerity agenda.