Phil Hogan has been awarded the Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria

Ireland’s EU Commissioner for Agriculture honoured by Austria

 Phil Hogan who was honoured by Austria today. Here he is pictured with a French potato producer earlier this month. Photograph: Mehdi Fedouach/Getty

Phil Hogan who was honoured by Austria today. Here he is pictured with a French potato producer earlier this month. Photograph: Mehdi Fedouach/Getty

 

Austria today bestowed the “Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold with Sash for Services to the Republic of Austria” on Ireland’s EU Commissioner for Agriculture, Phil Hogan.

At a ceremony in the Tyrol representative office in Brussels attended by officials, diplomats and MEPs, Minister for Agriculture Andra Rapprechter paid tribute to Austria’s “special friend” in a ceremony punctuated by musical renditions of Robert Stolz’s “You shall be the emperor of my soul” and of “Danny Boy”.

Mr Hogan politely declined the suggestion he accompany soprano Christina Khosrowi in the latter.

Among Mr Hogan’s attributes, the minister suggested, was the “skill of sticking to an unpopular line”, and he specifically acknowledged the commissioner’s strong commitment to the EU’s rural development policy which is of such importance to the 87 per cent of Austrian farmers who farm mountainous areas.