Both Mairead McGuinness and Valdis Dombrovskis undergo hearings at the European Parliament today concerning their nomination to Commissioner positions. The appointments are pursuant to the resignation of Phil Hogan following his error in failing to respect national rules in Ireland on social distancing imposed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
President von der Leyen has proposed Mairead McGuinness to be Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and the Capital Markets Union. Valdis Dombrovskis has been nominated as Commissioner for an Economy that Works for People (which includes responsibility for Trade). Both are difficult portfolios and have crucial roles to play in developing policy to steer the EU through economic and financial recovery from the current coronavirus pandemic gripping the world. They are being interviewed respectively by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee and the International Trade Committee.
McGuinness is a former Vice-President of the European Parliament and is broadly expected to be endorsed by the Parliament as one of their own, not least because her joining the College of Commissioners will further improve the gender balance of the von der Leyen Commission. Dombrovskis is already a serving Commissioner, and has been through the hearing process once before, so his nomination is not expected to be controversial. A key issue for both of them will be how they plan to work together with the Parliament on these crucial dossiers.
The Parliament will vote on the recommendations of the two Hearing Committees next Wednesday 7th October in plenary.