Last update: 11:44
Phil Hogan has denied doing anything wrong by sending CVs from his constituents to Irish Water.
Hogan is taking questions from the European Parliament in Brussels this morning, as he attempts to secure the EU Agriculture Commission job.
Addressing a story form the Irish press this morning, he told Irish MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan that he had sent CVs of local constituents to Irish Water, but admitted that none of those had been employed.
"I do that as a representative politician … you do actually try to help people to get employment," he said.
"But unfortunately, in the case that you mentioned, when I sent some CVs into Irish Water, none of them got a job - so I must be losing my influence over the company that I helped to establish."
He said he did not consider it a mistake, and he made no apologies for attempting to assist constituents he represents.
The Carlow-Kilkenny TD spoke at length about the Common Agricultural Policy, and the need to protect farmers.
But he also spoke about his record in protecting the environment, and on the controversial water charges.
"I spent three and a half years … ensuring that people understood the value of water," he said, ".. ensuring that we actually protected that source, but also protected the water quality to an extent that haven't done before."
Hogan will be questioned for three hours in front of a committee of up to 90 MEPs, including Luke Ming Flanagan, Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy, and fellow Fine Gael member Mairead McGuinness.
Sinn Féin's Matt Carthy questioned Hogan on the costs of the setup of Irish Water, to which Hogan said there were naturally costs associated with setting up a new system.
He also referenced a letter from Sinn Féin's Agriculture Minister in the North, congratulating him on his appointment, and said he hoped Mr Carthy did not "get into trouble" for the inconsistency.
He will receive questions about his record as an officeholder, his suitability to the agriculture portfolio, and his commitment to the EU.
It is unconfirmed yet as to whether he will be questioned in relation to an issue arising out of a legal letter he sent to Independent MEP, Nessa Childers, an action which she claims was intended to silence her criticisms of his appointment.
Representatives from each political group will either agree to confirm Mr Hogan as commissioner, or insist on a vote. Failing an agreement, they may then request a second hearing.