Tonight Ireland can move the College closer to gender parity

Ireland finds itself in a situation again tonight where it must choose its Commissioner, after Phil Hogan had to leave his post as the Commissioner for Trade. I note that in her Political Guidelines the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen pledged that with regards gender equality, the Commission will lead by example by forming a fully gender- equal College of Commissioners and stated in particular that by the end her mandate, she will ensure we have full equality at all levels of Commission management, and added “I will accept nothing less.“ It would be a disappointment if Ireland tonight fails to grasp the importance of this commitment.

I am convinced that the right woman for the job is the First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Mairead McGuinness. A wildly popular and widely respected Vice-President, she commands historically strong support across political party lines. Having worked alongside her for a number of years and in various settings, I have come to admire her for her outstanding intellect, strength of character and for her being truly a woman championing women.