Europe

Phil Hogan announced as new EU agriculture commissioner

Jean-Claude Juncker Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jean-Claude Juncker announced the list of 28 new EU Commissioners on Wednesday

Fine Gael's Phil Hogan has been named as the European Union's agriculture commissioner.

His appointment was announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday.

Mr Hogan was one of 28 new EU commissioners announced. The agriculture commissionership accounts for nearly 40% of the total EU budget.

Mr Hogan, a native of Kilkenny, was nominated in July by Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Enda Kenny.

Irish Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney welcomed Mr Hogan's appointment.

"Agriculture has always been a priority for Ireland and this is an appointment that government has made a priority," he said.

"It is a very significant announcement for Ireland and is recognition of the role the Irish presidency played in securing a Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) agreement last year.

"Ireland sees this appointment as securing a major economic portfolio which controls 40% of the EU budget.

"This government has prioritised agriculture and food as a major economic driver for the Irish economy and this appointment will help deliver those targets."

The former Irish environment minister is the second Irish person to hold the post after Ray McSharry.

The basic annual salary for an EU commissioner is around 250,000 euros (£204,000).

The new commissioners will undergo hearings before the relevant European Parliament committees.

Mr Hogan will face tough questions about his vision for the job and his record as a minister.

The new commission as a whole will be approved or rejected by a full plenary session of the parliament in October. It is due to take office on 1 November.

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