Independent MEP Marian Harkin has issued a statement concerning what she described as an inaccurate account in a Sunday newspaper of her position in relation to the nomination of Phil Hogan to be Ireland's European Commissioner.
She said: - "Despite an article in the Sunday Times wrongly stated that I oppose the nomination of Phil Hogan as candidate for the post of Irish Commissioner. I wish to clarify that I do not oppose his nomination. It is the responsibility of Member States to nominate candidates for Commissionership and it is then up to the relevant committee in the European Parliament to conduct hearings and vote on their suitability.
"I profoundly disagree with Phil Hogan in regard to his proposals on the LEADER Programme and specific ally on the issue of community led local development. However, that is an entirely different matter to his nomination as EU Commissioner.
"I don’t do personality politics, I am only concerned with the issues, e.g. given his track record on Travellers I do not think he would be a suitable Commissioner for Civil Liberties but if he was nominated as Commissioner for Trade, Internal Market or Fisheries, for example, that is a different matter entirely. Phil Hogan, like any other nominee, deserves to be judged on his track record when it comes to Parliament hearings and a lot will depend on the portfolio he is assigned.
"The EU Treaty states that it is within the remit of the Member State to nominate a Commissioner and then the Parliament will, after conducting a hearing, vote on the suitability of the candidate. If serious issues arise, these will be dealt with in the appropriate forum. It is not my role to either oppose or support a nominee; however it is my role to vote, where relevant, on the suitability of any nominee for a particular