Mairead McGuinness confirmed as Ireland's new EU commissioner
The European Parliament has elected Mairead McGuinness as Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets.
The former Vice-President of the EP was given a strong mandate with 583 votes out of a total ballot of 695 going in her favour.
McGuinness has been a Fine Gael MEP for Midlands-North-West since 2004 and also served as First Vice President of the Parliament.
The change of portfolio for Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, from Latvia, was also approved with 515 in favour, 110 against and 70 abstentions. He has now replaced Phil Hogan as the European Union's Trade commissioner.
On 2 October, both candidates underwent public hearings in the European Parliament to evaluate their competencies in regard to their specific portfolio.
Mairead McGuinness was questioned by the European Parliament's ECON committee for three hours, were she expressed her ambition and hope for the portfolio of Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets in the years to come.
Commissioner-designate Mairead McGuinness has thanked Members of the European Parliament for their strong support for her appointment. She said:
"I want to thank MEPs for their strong support", said McGuinness, speaking from Brussels after the vote.
"Today was an important step in the nomination process, with the Council due to consider my nomination in the coming days".
"I expect to hit ground running early next week", McGuinness continued.
"I will be focusing on a wide range of issues and ensuring financial stability in these difficult times, with the Covid-19 pandemic. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has tasked me with advancing the Banking Union, the Capital Markets Union and Sustainable Finance.
"This portfolio reaches out to all policy areas in the European Commission, as we strive for a more sustainable economy and society, and meet the challenge of climate change and biodiversity loss.
"Tackling money laundering will also be a core part of the work programme I will be dealing with, as well as regulating the new cryptocurrencies and ensuring consumer protection", McGuinness added.
Fine Gael MEPs Seán Kelly, Deirdre Clune, Frances Fitzgerald and Maria Walsh have welcomed the overwhelming European Parliament vote in favour of their colleague Mairead McGuinness’ appointment as EU Commissioner for Financial Services.
"Today’s vote is a strong endorsement of our colleague Mairead McGuinness as Ireland's EU Commissioner and shows the depth of respect the European Parliament has for her work ethic and professionalism", Seán Kelly MEP and leader of Fine Gael in the EU Parliament said.
"Mairead is a valued colleague who has represented her Midlands North West constituency proudly as an MEP for 16 years. The Financial Services portfolio she now takes on is highly significant, both for Ireland and the EU. It covers Banking Union, Capital Markets Union, sustainable finance, and a new digital finance strategy”, Mr Kelly said, in sending the delegations best wishes to Commissioner McGuinness.