Sven Giegold
Member of the European Parliament – Greens/EFA Group

Speaker of the German Green Delegation

McGuinness to become Irish Commissioner: A convinced European for financial markets – questions remain

This morning, Commission President von der Leyen has proposed Mairead McGuinness as candidate to succeed the resigned Irish Commissioner Hogan to the Council and the European Parliament. McGuinness’ portfolio is financial services, financial stability and capital markets union. Commission Vice-President Dombrovskis takes over the trade portfolio from Hogan.

The Irish government had proposed to the President of the Commission a female and a male candidate to succeed the Commissioner Hogan, Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell. McGuinness was previously an MEP, McDowell was Vice-President of the European Investment Bank. McGuinness and Dombrovskis now have to face hearings in the European Parliament.

MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:

“Mairead McGuinness is a good choice for the Irish Commissioner’s post. McGuinness is an appreciated colleague in the European Parliament and a convinced European. It is high time for a woman to be entrusted with the important issue of financial markets, for the first time since 1958. I congratulate her warmly on her nomination. We have known each other for years due to her responsibility for dialogue with churches and religious communities in the European Parliament. With McGuiness, Commission President von der Leyen has come closer to her promise of a gender-balanced college of the EU Commission.

The fact that the financial market portfolio is now in Irish hands raises questions. The Irish financial service policy cannot serve as an example for Europe. Ireland has done a lot in the past to compete through soft supervision with London in financial services. The financial market-friendly policy of the British Isles cannot be the European standard for stability-oriented and consumer-friendly regulation. With the head of the Eurogroup and Financial Markets Commissioner, key financial posts are now in Irish hands. As Financial Market Commissioner, McGuinness will be responsible for tax transparency (country-by-country reporting), money laundering and European supervision of the Capital Market Union. We will press for clarity on these important European issues at the upcoming hearing with the candidate.

Dombrovskis’ legacy in the financial market sector is Sustainable Finance. Just as he initiated the greening of the financial sector, he must now develop an ecological and social European trade policy. We need an EU trade policy for the fight against climate change, in line with the European Green Deal.”