Ireland’s new EU commissioner Phil Hogan has landed the top farming job of EU commissioner for agriculture.
Mr Hogan, 54, a native of Kilkenny for the last 24 years and a former environment minister, will replace the current commissioner Dacian Ciolos, from Romania.
Mr Hogan will be in charge of the agriculture budget for the EU, which accounts for roughly 40% of the overall EU budget.
He will be paid a base salary of €250,000 (£200,000), which with allowances, could increase to almost €300,000 (240,000).
EU president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker announced Mr Hogan’s appointment on Wednesday (10 September).
In a statement, Mr Hogan said he was “delighted” to be named as the new EU commissioner, adding that he was looking forward to getting on with the job.
“Farming faces many challenges, not least in terms of ensuring food security, preserving the environment and protecting the countryside, but also dealing with issues such as climate change and the need to provide a fair and stable standard of living for farmers,” said Mr Hogan.
“We need to preserve the continuity and further development of the farming sector and rural areas.”
The Irish Farmers Association (IFA) welcomed Mr Hogan’s appointment, saying it would have a positive impact on Irish and European farm families.
IFA president Eddie Downey said: “There are important decisions ahead for the agriculture sector, including the future direction of the CAP, excessive EU bureaucracy, climate change restrictions, EU retail legislation and damaging trade deals.
“Irish and European farmers need a strong voice around the commission table. Through our Brussels office, we will work with commissioner Hogan and his officials to secure strong support for farm families into the future.”
He added: “The mid-term review of the CAP will be a key opportunity to refocus towards a common policy that supports food production and ensures a viable living for active, productive farmers.
“The right outcome on these policy areas will only be achieved by having a commissioner who recognises that the direction of the CAP needs to change.”
Who is Phil Hogan?
- Phil Hogan is an Fine Gael politician (the largest of two political parties ruling Ireland)
- The eldest of four, he was born in Tullaroan, Kilkenny
- He was appointed as Ireland’s EU commissioner on 11 July 2014
- He previously served as Ireland’s minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government from March 2011 to July 2014
- Phil previously held a number of senior party positions, including finance minister during the mid-1990s
- He is a qualified teacher and works as an auctioneer
- Phil rarely misses a Gaelic football match when Kilkenny are playing
- He is good card player – an essential requirement in politics
- One of the biggest compliments ever paid to Phil was when former Taoiseach John Bruton described him as a man of “great political insight”
(Source: Fine Gael)