The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has held interviews with the two candidates to replace Phil Hogan as Ireland's commissioner.
Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell both had video calls with President von der Leyen on Monday morning.
One of them will be selected in the coming days to be Ireland's EU Commissioner.
The trade portfolio is likely to be given to another country with a more senior commissioner, after the resignation of Mr Hogan over the Golfgate controversy.
Ms McGuinness is currently vice-president of the European Parliament, while Mr McDowell was vice-president of the European Investment Bank (EIB) until recently.
In a tweet about the interviews, President von der Leyen said: "My aim is to have a full team of commissioners in place swiftly, to have a college ready for action, to tackle the ambitious political agenda of the autumn."
First exchanges with @MaireadMcGMEP and with @AMcDowell, the Irish candidates for the post of commissioner. My aim is to have a full team of commissioners in place swiftly, to have a College ready for action, to tackle the ambitious political agenda of the autumn. pic.twitter.com/UJvlB3skV7
— Ursula von der Leyen (@vonderleyen) September 7, 2020
Nominating them on Friday, the Government said it believed "that both are candidates of the highest calibre, possessing the necessary competence, independence and European commitment to serve in the role of commissioner with distinction.
"In keeping with the provisions of the European treaties, President von der Leyen will now consult with the European Parliament before the appointment of a new commissioner is made by the council, in common accord with the President of the Commission.
"The question of the allocation of roles within the commission is also one for President von der Leyen.
"However, the Government firmly believes that both candidates have demonstrated that they have experience, skills and capacity to serve and to make a contribution in the most demanding roles."