European Commissioner and former Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has confirmed that she will not contest the next European election following “intense speculation” around her plans.
In a statement, Ms McGuinness said that she is currently focused on her role as European Commissioner and would not be fighting the election next June.
“I am aware of the intense speculation about my intentions. I have over recent months said publicly that I will not contest the European Parliament elections. My position has not changed and will not change,” Ms McGuinness said.
“I have one more year to serve in my role as EU Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability and Capital Markets Union. This is my absolute focus for the next twelve months.” “I have expressed a willingness to serve as Commissioner in the next mandate, but fully respect that this is a decision to be made by Government.”
She previously held the role of Vice-President of the European Parliament, serving between 2014 and 2020.
It is currently expected that, as part of the current coalition deal, Fianna Fáil will be given the opportunity to nominate Ireland’s next European Commissioner in 2024.
The comments from Ms McGuinness comes as the Electoral Commission recommended that Ireland’s additional European parliamentary seat should be allocated to the Midlands-North West constituency.
The recommendation follows a decision by the European Council in September to increase the number of MEPs for Ireland from 13 to 14.