That leave be granted to introduce a Bill entitled an Act to provide for the parliamentary scrutiny of the Government's proposed candidate for appointment as a member of the Commission of the European Union and to provide for related matters.
This Bill was introduced to the Seanad by the Independent Members of that House, Senators James Heffernan, Paul Bradford and Sean D. Barrett. It is sponsored in the Dáil by Deputies Terence Flanagan, Denis Naughten, Billy Timmins, Peter Mathews and me. The objective of this Bill is very simple as it aims to provide a more democratic and transparent process for the nomination of an Irish Commissioner to the European Commission. If the Bill is accepted it will oblige the Taoiseach in no less that 12 days, before the formal candidacy is announced, to lay before the House the Government's proposed nominee. The proposed nominee would then appear before the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs and a full debate would ultimately take place in the Chamber of each House.
Ireland's nomination to the European Commission is an extremely important Government nomination. It may be the most important nomination the Government will make.