Margrethe Vestager promoted to European Commission VP
The next president of the European Commission has steeled Europe for battles with Donald Trump over trade and tech regulation, handing more powers to the bloc’s top antitrust enforcer and urging Brussels to be robust in dealing with global rivals including China, reports the Financial Times. “Ursula von der Leyen [commission president-elect] promised to spearhead a ‘geopolitical’ commission in Brussels as she promoted Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s Danish competition chief, to be a powerful executive vice-president with an expanded role in charge of regulating US tech companies. Ireland’s Phil Hogan, one of Brussels’ most vocal opponents of Brexit and a former agriculture commissioner, has been nominated as the EU’s new trade chief – a role that will put him in charge of negotiating any EU-UK trade deal and managing strained trade relations with the White House. Ms Vestager and Mr Hogan, who will both be serving second terms as commissioners, have been outspoken defenders of European interests against Washington’s trade protectionism and the market dominance of American digital giants.” Vestager, who has been dubbed the “tax lady” by Donald Trump, has dished out record competition has dished out record competition fines to Google and demanded the Irish government claw back taxes from Apple. She will also lead Brussels’ digital policy as an executive vice-president in the new commission. The job will involve pioneering a sweeping new EU Digital Services Act that will regulate how the likes of Facebook and Google’s YouTube police illegal content and combat hate speech. Ursula von der Leyen said: “Digitisation has a huge impact on the way we live, work and communicate. In some fields, Europe has to catch up – like for business to consumers – while in others we are frontrunners – such as in business to business. We have to make our single market fit for the digital age, we need to make the most of artificial intelligence and big data, we have to improve on cybersecurity and we have to work hard for our technological sovereignty." Read more and commission announcement at here.
- Monday, 16 September 2019