Margrethe Vestager has been appointed the next European Commissioner for Competition (ECforC), European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed when he announced his commission line-up today.
Vestager, who stepped down as the Danish economy and internal affairs minister and the leader of the Radikale party last week, will be on the frontline in the battle against those seeking to monopolise in the EU industrial sector.
“In these unprecedented times, Europe's citizens expect us to deliver,” Juncker said in a press release.
“After years of economic hardship and often painful reforms, Europeans expect a performing economy, sustainable jobs, more social protection, safer borders, energy security and digital opportunities. Today I am presenting the team that will put Europe back on the path to jobs and growth.”
Position of power
As part of her tasks, Vestager will be in a position to stop mergers that hinder competition, stop governments supporting their own industries with sizeable funding and will be able to fine companies up to 10 percent of their annual turnover.
Microsoft was recently fined a record four billion euros by the ECforC, and last year the Danish pharmaceutical giant Lundbeck had to cough up 700 million kroner after it paid competitors to delay their introduction of cheaper versions of its products. Ongoing cases involving Google and Gazprom wait on her desk.
Marlene Wind, the head of the Centre for European Politics at the University of Copenhagen, described the position as being the "overlord of the inner market".
“It’s one of the areas where all nations have given up power to ensure that the inner market works and where the EU decides supremely without the meddling of member states,” Wind told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.