According to the Financial Times, the next president of the European Commission has prepared 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.
Ursula von der Leyen on Tuesday, September 10, 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.
According to the FT, 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.
“Mr Trump certainly has indicated his clear preference for trade wars rather than trade agreements. If he keeps up this particular dynamic of protectionism, I expect that the European Union will continue to forge deals around the world,” Mr Hogan told Irish national broadcaster RTE.
Full Content: Financial Times