The Government is firmly backing Phil Hogan to be appointed to the European Commission for a second term, despite a call on EU leaders to put forward the names of a man and a woman.

The call was made today by Ursula von der Leyen who is the nominee for the post of Commission President

She told MEPs of her aim to have a commission made up of 50% men and 50% women.

Ursula von der Leyen said she would ask each EU government to "present two people...a man and a woman."

A Government spokesperson said tonight that Commissioner Hogan is Ireland's candidate for the new Commission.

They said the decision to re-nominate him is an endorsement of his work to date, and an indication of the importance the Government places on its engagement with EU institutions.

"We are aware the nominee for Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, has spoken of her interest in having each Member State propose two candidates for Commissioner as part of her engagement with the European Parliament," the spokesperson said.

They added that the next step was President von der Leyen's appointment which must be endorsed by the European Parliament.

After this the process will get underway to form the new Commission and to allocate the portfolios, they said.