Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Irish Member of European Commission.

Thursday, 25 May 1972

Dáil Eireann Debate
Vol. 261 No. 3

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1.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  asked the Taoiseach the date by which he intends to nominate the Irish member of the European Commission; and how he intends to announce the nomination.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I have no specific date in mind but I can say that no announcement will be made about it for some time yet.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  I was under the impression from a comment made here by the Minister for Foreign Affairs that there would be a sort of a run-in of experience for the Commissioner and that it would necessitate his attendance in Brussels before this country formally enters the EEC. Is that the position?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  It is probably too much to say that his attendance in Brussels would be necessitated in advance.I think the position is that he cannot formally be appointed until such time as we become members. However, in the meantime, there will [474] be the question of the allocating of functions to the various Commissioners and, if only for that reason, it would be necessary that the Commissioner be appointed some months in advance. I think that will be the case.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  May we take it that the appointment will be some time in the autumn or at the end of summer?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  The Deputy can take that range of time, roughly.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Can the Taoiseach say how it is proposed to elect or select, or what method will be employed to provide for membership from this country of the European Parliament?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I have no specific answer to that question but I understand that at present it is left to the member parliament itself to select its members from among the members of that parliament.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Am I correct in assuming that it will be pro rata representation, or will it be confined to members of the Government party?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I think it would be fair to assume that there will be pro rata representation.

Mr. L'Estrange: Information on Gerald L'Estrange  Zoom on Gerald L'Estrange  With regard to the appointment of the commissioner, can the Taoiseach state if the person will be a Member of either House of the Oireachtas? Has the Taoiseach made up his mind on this point?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  I have not made up my mind on that but I think the Deputy is aware that the Commission itself expresses a preference for an active politician and I would go along with that.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Can the Taoiseach state if the nominee will be subject to the approval of this House?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  No, I believe not.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  If a cussed, ignorant kind of Taoiseach nominated a person whom the majority of the House considered unsuitable, would that not be a bad position to be in?

[475]The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  There is an informal consultative procedure between member countries. The Deputy is aware from his own experience that this kind of consultative procedure is adopted with regard to the nomination of ambassadors also.

2.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  asked the Taoiseach the salary, conditions of employment and tenure of office of the Irish member of the European Commission.

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Members of the commission receive a basic annual salary of approximately £14,550. The conditions of employment and tenure of office of members of the Commission of the European Communities are set out in Articles 10 and 11 of the Treaty, dated the 8th April, 1965, establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities.

Mr. Corish: Information on Brendan Corish  Zoom on Brendan Corish  Can the Taoiseach tell us what would be the tenure of office?

The Taoiseach: Information on John Lynch  Zoom on John Lynch  Four years, renewable, subject to termination in certain circumstances.


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