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New European Commission, approved by Parliament, will focus on the digital domain

Loek Essers | Oct. 23, 2014
The digital domain will be an important focus for the new members of the European Union's executive branch, the European Commission, following their approval by the European Parliament on Wednesday.

Oettinger, a German who has been the EU's Commissioner for Energy until now, got a good review from the parliament, except from a small group of Greens. They seriously questioned his political views, according to the evaluation report.

Others asked for a stronger focus on data protection, media freedom and the related fundamental rights aspects. Oettinger should work very closely with Ansip as well with Vra Jourová, Commissioner for Justice, and Frans Timmermans, the First Vice-President for Fundamental Rights, to ensure that, in particular, data protection is fully embedded in his policy mandate, they said.

Another important player in the digital domain will be Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager, who will keep a close eye on tech companies operating in Europe. During her confirmation hearing she said she would continue an anti-trust investigation against Google over visibility of competitors' search results that has been running since 2010.

She also committed to apply EU state aid guidelines vigorously, cracking down on member states' illegal tax deals with companies. Apple and Amazon.com are already the subjects of Commission investigations into alleged favorable tax treatment, in Ireland and in Luxembourg.

Now that the Parliament has given its consent, the European Council will formally appoint the Commissioners, who are expected to take their seats on Nov. 1.

 

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