EU’s Dombrovskis given temporary charge of trade after Hogan exit

BRUSSELS: European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis will take temporary responsibility for trade after the resignation of Ireland’s Phil Hogan over allegations he broke COVID-19 guidelines, EU executive chief Ursula von der Leyen said.
The former Latvian prime minister will take charge as the European Union seeks to ease trade tensions with the United States, seal a deal on future relations with Britain and unite around a new leader for the World Trade Organization.
Dombrovskis previously stood in for two weeks in June when Hogan said he was considering putting himself forward to become the next WTO director-general. He finally opted not to do so.
The Commission coordinates trade policy for the EU’s 27 members, meaning the EU trade chief is among the most powerful of the “college” of commissioners.
Von der Leyen said on Thursday that the Irish government should propose a man and a woman as potential successors and she would later determine the final allocation of tasks. Ireland may not retain the trade portfolio.
Prime Minister Micheal Martin said Ireland would look at von der Leyen’s preference for two nominees and that he planned to meet his coalition partners to discuss a successor. — Reuters