The Irish Times view on international top jobs: the value of an Irish candidate

Senior positions in global or regional bodies help burnish Ireland’s credentials

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is a candidate for the eurogroup presidency, a two-and-a-half year term to succeed Portugal’s Mário Centeno. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is a candidate for the eurogroup presidency, a two-and-a-half year term to succeed Portugal’s Mário Centeno. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

 

The outgoing government’s decision to put Paschal Donohoe’s name forward for election to the position of president, in effect chair, of the eurogroup of EU finance ministers has much to do with emphasising this State’s credentials as a team player determined to sit at the top table.

Active multilateralism, and a determination fully to engage in the leadership of international organisations from the EU to the UN, where Ireland has just won a seat on the Security Council, are core expressions of national foreign policy. The nominations are important not just for the sake of blowing the national trumpet or having the proverbial green jersey present at key moments of decision-making affecting the State, but central to branding and projecting the State’s worldview and the role it sees for itself promoting peace and economic development.

The Donohoe nomination comes as news emerges of the appointment of Irish woman Emer Cooke to head the European Medecines Agency, one of the most powerful regulatory agencies in the world, and days after Irish trade commissioner Phil Hogan announced a pitch for the vacancy as head of the World Trade Organisation, a position once held by Peter Sutherland.

The eurogroup presidency, a two-and-a-half year term to succeed Portugal’s Mário Centeno, will be elected on July 9th.

The informal group of 19 euro states faces tough challenges as economies reel from the coronavirus crisis and member states argue over how to shape a massive €540 billion economic safety net agreed by them.

There are three in the race – Donohoe, whose pitch is as a broker of compromise, Nadia Calviño, economy minister in Spain’s left-of-centre government and a former senior commission official, and Pierre Gramegna of Luxembourg, throwing his hat in the ring for a second time.

Politics are likely to play a part in the decision, with the socialists keen to keep the post and Calviño’s candidacy viewed with suspicion among fiscal conservatives in northern Europe.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.