Dombrovskis and McGuinness hearings scheduled for 12 October 

European Commission executive vice-president for Economy, Valdis Dombrovskis, will take over the Trade portfolio, while it will pass Financial Services to Mariead McGuinness. [EFE/EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ / POOL]

European Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis and commissioner-designate Mairead McGuinness will face their European Parliament hearings to take over Trade and Financial Services on 12 October, with EU lawmakers to decide on their nominations the following week.

Dombrovkis, who is currently Commission executive vice-president for Economy, will take over the trade portfolio from Irish Commissioner Phil Hogan who resigned following the ‘Golfgate’ scandal. 

Compatriot Mairead McGuinness, currently Parliament’s first vice-president, will take charge of Financial Services, previously held by Dombrovskis.

Von der Leyen proposes McGuinness as financial services Commissioner 

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed on Tuesday (8 September) Ireland’s Mairead McGuinness to become financial services Commissioner, taking over from executive vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis, who will assume the trade portfolio vacated by Phil Hogan.

According to a draft indicative calendar, seen by EURACTIV.com, Dombrovskis and McGuinness must send their CVs, mission letters and declarations of financial interests to the Parliament by Friday (18 September).

On the week of 21-24 September, the Parliament’s conference of committee chairs will confirm the calendar and adopt the division of responsibilities between committees.

Although the dates are yet to be confirmed, EU officials said that this indicative calendar would not change. The Parliament, however, is still waiting for their mission letters to adopt the dates.

On 1 October, the conference of presidents, the leaders of the Parliament’s political groups, will approve the written questionnaires for the candidates. The replies must be sent back in English by 8 October. 

The Legal Affairs committee will conclude the scrutiny of the declaration of financial interests of the nominees by 9 October. 

This will clear the way for the two candidates to be grilled on 12 October by the MEPs on the Economic and Monetary Affairs and International Trade committees.

The evaluation by the committee chairs would take place on 13 October, and the plenary vote during the 19-22 October session, according to the draft calendar.

EU trade chief resigns over COVID-19 'golfgate' controversy

Phil Hogan quit as the EU’s trade commissioner late on Wednesday (26 August) after days of pressure over allegations he breached COVID-19 guidelines during a trip to his native Ireland, saying it had become clear the controversy was a distraction from his work.

[Edited by Benjamin Fox]

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