Von der Leyen offers Jourová values and transparency portfolio on Commission

Ilustracija EPA-EFE Stephanie Lecocq

Ilustracija EPA-EFE Stephanie Lecocq

The appointment of Phil Hogan as EU Trade Commissioner comes "at a critical time for the farming and food sectors here", according to the Irish Farmers' Association's (IFA's) president Joe Healy.

There has always been speculation that Mr Hogan would win the high profile trade portfolio in the next European Commission which will be announced today by the incoming president Ursula von der Leyen.

After each candidate is approved, the new Commission is set to take office on November 1.

Ursula von der Leyen, described Mr Hogan as a tough but fair negotiator.

Ursula von der Leyen has met a key pledge for gender balance with her team line-up.

"This team will shape the European Way: we will take bold action against climate change, build our partnership with the United States, define our relations with a more self-assertive China and be a reliable neighbor, for example to Africa", she said in a statement.

The European Union would be the "guardian of multilateralism", she said, recognising that some tasks could not be achieved by Europe alone.

Dutch Liberal member of the European Parliament Sophie in 't Veld, slamming what she dubbed a "fake portfolio", said the very point about the European way of life is that individuals have the freedom to choose their own way of life.

"We want to bring new impetus to Europe's democracy".

Hogan, who has not held back in public and pointed criticism of Britain's approach throughout the Brexit talks, said that even if a withdrawal agreement is struck this year, it would take another six to eight months before European Union member states agree a mandate to allow him start future trade talks.

As the Internal Market Commissioner, Sylvie Goulard will lead work on industrial policy and promote the digital single market.

"If a no deal is what Boris Johnson wants that is always something he can get, but as I see it the majority of MPs and the population do not want a hard Brexit".

Gentiloni will take over from Pierre Moscovici, a former French finance minister who spent most his five-years as commissioner in battle with Italy over its colossal debt and chronic overspending.

The list of Commissioners-designate has to be agreed now by the European Council, and the European Parliament needs to give its consent to the new European Commission for 2019-2024 as a whole.

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