As expected Ireland did not retain the position of Trade Commissioner as European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen kept her reshuffle to a minimum by taking financial services from the remit of newly appointed trade Commissioner, Valdis Dombrovskis and allocating to Mairead Mc Guinness. While not of immediate interest to Irish farmers, financial services is a hugely important brief covering everything from banking to future trading relationship with the city of London in a post-Brexit world.
While not directly involved in agriculture or trade, Ireland’s commissioner designate will bring an exceptional knowledge of the topic to the Commission College. All the way through from obtaining a degree in the subject, her earlier career in the print and broadcast media covering agriculture and rural affairs to her position on the agriculture committee in the European Parliament prove she has been immersed in the subject. When agriculture is debated in the Commission college, we would expect that the voice of Commissioner Mc Guinness would be heard.