Socialist MEPs say Charlie McCreevy, Ireland’s EU Commissioner for Internal Markets, isn't up to the job.
Ireland’s EU Commissioner for Internal Markets, was “at the races” when a vital European Parliament Committee meeting was called before the Lisbon Treaty, according to Martin Schulz, the leader of the EU’s socialist MEPs.
Mr Schulz said Mr McCreevy had chosen to go to a race meet in Cheltenham instead of attending the vital debate.
He said: “I put the question, should the Irish Commissioner not be more involved, more engaged and should he not act more credibly than he did during this election campaign?
“I remember, in the last four days, as I was in Ireland he was in the United States at a conference and I think he acted the same way a month ago – rather than go to the Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament he went to a horse race.”
Mr Schulz added that he believed Mr McCreevy should lose his job for stating publicly that he had not read the Lisbon Treaty at the height of the referendum campaign.
Mr McCreevy, who is in charge of running Europe’s single market, had also said that no “sane person” would want to read the document – but he insisted there was sufficient information available to anyone wanting to inform themselves.
Yesterday, during a European Parliament debate on the No result, Mr Schulz declared: “This [Mr McCreevy] is the man who is responsible for the internal market, for a level playing field which is full of social inequality.
“The best social policy measure for Europe is to take that portfolio away from Mr McCreevy. He has fallen down on the job.
“Deregulating the internal market is all he can do, come what may, without the flanking social measures that we need.”
But Mr Schulz also blamed national governments for a public “crisis of confidence” at national and European level.
He added: “We have a negative spiral which is a dangerous one. The process of European integration is on the line.”
He said it was time to take the Eurosceptic movement seriously - because passion about Europe had “emigrated” from the pro-Europeans to the anti-Europeans.
And he accused the European Commission of failing to take into account the financial crisis and turmoil on markets.
“There has been not a peep out of the Commission,” he said, adding: “What Europe needs is firm social action.”