Ex Kilkenny TD Phil Hogan’s €300,000 EU job under threat – because he’s a man
FORMER Kilkenny TD Phil Hogan’s dream of winning a second term as Ireland’s EU Commissioner could be scuppered over a gender row that has erupted at the highest levels of the union.
Ursula von der Leyen, who has been nominated by the European Council to be the next president of the European Commision, yesterday said she wants her commission to have a 50:50 gender split.
She told MEPs: “I want a commission that is 50% women, 50% men, so I will ask the heads of state and government to present two people, two persons – a man and a woman. So this is what we are looking for.”
The call for EU leaders to each nominate a man and a woman would effectively allow Ms von der Leyen choose which would be that country’s commissioner.
Ms von der Leyen’s declaration was greeted with surprise in Brussels and Dublin.
It could put pressure on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to name a female alternative to Mr Hogan after the Cabinet this week agreed that he be put forward for a second term in the European Commission.
However, Government sources quoted in reports this morning insisted the Taoiseach is fully behind the Kilkenny man and that it’s up to individual member states to decide who to put forward as their commissioner.