EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan
1pm UPDATE: EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has provided around 20 pages of documents to the President of the European Commission in the ongoing controversy over his trip to Ireland and the Clifden golf dinner, according to an EU official. The documents include guidelines from the Irish Hotels Federation and a map of Ireland showing individual counties.
European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has given a deadline of 1pm Dublin time to Phil Hogan to submit a full account of his movements in Ireland.
It has emerged that following [EU Commission President] Urulsa von der Leyen’s request there were “further contacts” but an EU source last night sounded a pessimistic note saying they “could not say whether she received all clarifications or not”
There are growing doubts among senior Ministers that Mr Hogan can hold on to his role as EU trade commissioner.
Hogan could, in theory, be dismissed by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But it is hard to see what advantage she could accrue from toppling her trade commissioner and destabilizing her administration for the sake of calming a political storm in a country that accounts for only 1.1 percent of the EU’s population.
Only once has a commissioner been obliged to resign — Malta’s John Dalli in 2012, amid allegations that the tobacco industry sought to bribe the then commissioner for health to alter proposed legislation.
No such corruption is involved in the case of the golf society dinner. The allegation is rather one of rank hypocrisy: that the politicians in attendance were ignoring the coronavirus measures they had imposed on others.