Phil Hogan has been nominated by the Government for a second term as EU Commissioner. On September 10th 2014, was nominated by Jean-Claude Juncker to be the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development when he took office on November 1st 2014.
He has been involved in a number of reforms since he was his first elected, including the implementation of the CAP reform and established the EU-Agri markets task force which is examining ways to strengthen the position of the farmer in the food chain. However, his involvement in the free trade deal with Mercosur had left him in a doubtful position for reappointment.Leo Varadkar
In a statement, Leo Varadkar said, "Over the past five years, Commissioner Hogan has done an excellent job as European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development. He has highlighted the interests and concerns of the agricultural sector across Europe”
“Phil is widely respected in Brussels and across the EU as a skilled negotiator and someone who builds alliances. He has also been a very important voice on Brexit, ensuring that his colleagues in the Commission have a keen understanding of the potential negative impact that the UK’s exit will have on Ireland and other Member States.”
He continued, “In recent months, he has secured an aid package for Irish beef farmers, in recognition of the significant challenges facing the sector as a result of ongoing market turbulence related to Brexit.
“His re-nomination is an endorsement of his work to date, and an indication of the importance we place on our engagement with EU institutions.”
“We need our best people in Europe. The Government will now work closely with our colleagues in the EU to support him in securing the best possible portfolio in the new Commission.”
IFA President Joe Healy said the re-appointment of Phil Hogan as Ireland’s EU Commissioner is an opportunity for Ireland to secure a portfolio that allows Ireland to have the maximum influence on EU policy.
“Commissioner Hogan will be facing some very serious challenges, particularly from the next CAP Budget and reform; Brexit; trade deals; and climate action,” he said.
“While farmers are very angry and frustrated with the EU Commission over the Mercosur trade deal, overall it has been important to have a strong Irish voice steering agricultural policy at EU level,” he said.
Joe Healy said the work done by Commissioner Hogan in tackling unfair trading practices was an important step towards a fairer food chain for farmers. “Whatever portfolio the Commissioner Hogan is allocated in the new Commission, we hope he will continue to drive this issue,” he said.
“Commissioner Hogan also played a key role in delivering a €100m Brexit Aid package for Irish farmers, the details of which are being finalised by Minister Creed. However, the Brexit threat is bigger than it ever was. Prices for cattle and sheep are currently unsustainable and farmers will need further support,” he said.
“The next CAP will have a hugely significant impact on the future direction of Irish farming. It is important to have a Commissioner who understands how important it is for Irish agriculture. We expect Phil Hogan to make a very strong case for CAP funding. The advantage and experience of holding a second term is something that must be maximised,” he said.
“Through our Brussels office, we look forward to maintaining a high level of engagement with the Commissioner and his officials on behalf of Irish farmers,” he said
Commenting on the re-appointment, the President of ICMSA, Mr. Pat McCormack said, that whatever portfolio Commissioner Hogan receives, he must ensure that the key challenges faced by EU farmers and in particular Brexit, Mercusor, Climate Change and CAP Post 2020 become central priorities for the new EU Commission.
“Farmers are rightly and justifiably concerned that big business appears to dominate the EU agenda and all other aspects including farming are secondary priorities” he said.
“The Mercusor agreement is a case in point and ICMSA believes that the new EU Commission will simply have to review its position on Mercusor, will have to set down strict and clear procedures on all EU food imports and will once and for all ensure that EU farmers are only competing with produce that meets the same standards of EU produce.”
“On Brexit, farmers have been losing heavily since 2018 and these ongoing losses will simply have to be addressed in the interests of fairness,” he said.
“The upcoming period is one in which we will face enormous challenges and farmers expect and hope that our Commissioner will defend our position vigorously in the context of all these challenges,” concluded Mr. McCormack