This note provides information on the hearings of Mairead McGuinness and Valdis Dombrovskis taking place on 2 October.
-Mairead McGuinness (Ireland), Financial Services, Financial Stability and the Capital Markets, will be heard by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee from 9.00 to 12.00, in room PHS 3C50 (opposite the plenary chamber);
-Valdis Dombrovskis (Latvia), Trade, will be heard by the International Trade Committee from 13.00 to 16.00 in room PHS 3C50 (opposite the plenary chamber).
The Committees on Foreign Affairs, on Economic and Monetary Affairs, on Development and on Budgets will be invited to participate.
For further general information on the hearings and official documents, please see here.
Declarations of financial interest
Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs met on 24 September to evaluate the candidates’ declarations of financial interest and confirmed the absence of any conflict of interests. This is an essential precondition for the hearing to be held in the relevant policy committee.
Written questions and answers
The deadline to respond to the written questions addressed to the candidates by the relevant committees is 30 September. The answers of Ms McGuinness can be found here, Mr Dombrovskis' answers can be found here.
Structure of the hearings
Each hearing lasts three hours. The candidates will make a 15-minute introductory statement, which will be followed by questions from MEPs. There will be 25 questions altogether: one minute per question, followed by a one-minute answer from the candidates and a possible follow-up question from the MEP. Before the hearings end, the two candidates will each have the possibility to give a 5-minute statement.
The hearings will immediately be followed by meetings in which the Chair and group representatives (coordinators) of the committees will evaluate the suitability of Ms McGuiness and Mr Dombrovskis.
The Conference of Committee Chairs will assess the outcome of the two hearings on 5 October and forward its conclusions to the Conference of Presidents. The latter will conduct the final evaluation and decide whether to close the hearings on 6 October.
The plenary vote is set to take place on 7 October.
Audiovisual services and webstreaming
Parliament’s Multimedia Centre will provide HD quality videos, high-resolution photos and audio material (grouped by hearing in "media packages").
HD quality videos can be downloaded within 30 minutes of the start of the hearings (live replays) and a selection of high-quality photos will be available for download.
Meeting room PHS 3C50
Journalists are invited to attend the hearings in person, respecting the precautionary measures in force (see below), or follow them remotely via Parliament’s webstreaming or EbS+.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, only a limited number of seats in the room where the hearings will take place will be reserved for the media. These seats will be attributed inside the room on a first-come, first-served basis.
Accreditation and access
No special accreditation is necessary during the hearings. Journalists holding an inter-institutional badge or annual badge delivered by the Parliament can enter Parliament’s premises as they always do.
Those who do not have a badge need to request short-term accreditation through Parliament’s registration website, and collect their badges at the press accreditation office Esplanade Solidarnosc, ASP 1F035, open from 07:30 -16:45 from Monday to Friday.
Working conditions in Parliament for journalists in light of Coronavirus
It is mandatory to wear a community mask that covers the mouth and nose at all times while in Parliament’s buildings. This is to continue to ensure Parliament’s operational capacity, while at the same time avoiding health risks for Members, staff and other persons working in and visiting the European Parliament. In addition, temperature checks are being carried out on all persons entering Parliament’s premises.
However, journalists may remove their mask for the duration of a recording (stand-ups, interviews, studio recordings), if the social distancing measures are respected. The press room on the ground floor (Paul-Henri Spaak building) is also open for those who need to work from Parliament, though social distancing rules remain in force.
Please refrain from coming to EP premises if you present any symptoms of a respiratory infection, if you have knowingly been in contact with an infected person in the last 14 days or if you have been to regions with very high transmission rates.