The European Commission’s Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in March of this year appointed three digital experts to advise her on the challenges digitization could one day pose to competition policy, which she hopes her successor will continue. In July, she called on citizens to submit their views to the Commission by the end of September.
The initiatives should culminate in a January 17, 2019, competition conference and a final expert report, which is expected on March 31. Competition experts in Brussels expect its findings will shape Vestager’s advice to the next commissioner.
A European Commission spokesperson said that the main inheritance from Vestager’s years will be broader than digital, and should include her record of policing countries’ tax ruling practices through state aid rules and working to simplify state aid procedures. The spokesperson also said that an important part of her legacy should be conceptual, prioritizing “fairness” when interpreting the law.
The Commission president plays a key role in both the appointment of the new competition commissioner and the writing of the agency’s overarching policy goals. And in his previous role as chief of staff to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, the powerful Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr is said to have held the pen when the institution’s priorities were drafted. Vestager often refers to these priorities.
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