Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness has confirmed that she is putting her name forward to become the European People's Party's nominee for president of the European Parliament.

The representative for the Midlands North West constituency has said she is "in campaign mode" in an effort to become the nominee of the EPP, of which Fine Gael is affiliated.

Asked of the likelihood of her securing the nomination, Ms McGuinness said she felt a good "ground swell of support" from her colleagues within the group.

However, she said things could "evolve" over the next three weeks and the current phase is a critical one in the campaign.

The former journalist and broadcaster, who is an MEP since 2004 and is currently one of 14 vice presidents of the parliament, said it was an honour and a privilege to put her name forward as a credible candidate, adding that from an Irish perspective such an achievement is positive. 

"I think its difficult for smaller states to break through, but sometimes it happens," she said.

As the only female EPP candidate confirmed to be in the running, she said she would rather people look at her as "a credible candidate who is a woman" rather than "a woman candidate". 

She said her reputation as being tough, but fair, was not a bad one to have.

"As a vice president, I have been privileged to serve both the administration and the members and I know that going into the next elections in 2019, I believe the Parliament needs a different voice and a strong voice, one that can connect with people and I hope I can do that".

Ms McGuinness said she is committed to the EU ideal.

"With the big global challenges that we face and at a time when there is no diplomacy anymore, when the language of politics is debased and is coarse, it is time for those of us who believe in moderation to defend it absolutely, and strongly, and I think I can do that," she said.

The term of current European Parliament President Martin Schulz is due to end in January 2017 and he is said to be in the running to become German foreign minister.