Vestager tipped for top EU post – The Post

Vestager tipped for top EU post

With diplomacy and a bit of luck, a Danish politician could take the EU’s plumb job

It would be a feather in Denmark’s cap if Vestager became the European Commission’s President (photo: Johannes Jansson/
March 21st, 2019 10:07 am| by Stephen Gadd

Despite taking a tough line on some of the world’s largest companies – or maybe because of it – Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager still has some friends in Europe.

The Dane is often credited as being the EU’s most popular commissioner, but the question is what she will do when her period of office expires at the end of October this year.

Last autumn, Vestager told CPH POST’s Diplomacy magazine: “I would be more than happy to have another five years and preferably as Competition Commissioner because I feel we are in the middle of something.”

READ ALSO: Margrethe Vestager on the importance of ensuring a fair deal for all the EU’s consumers

Vestager’s party Radikale belongs to a grouping called the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and, unlike many other European groups, it doesn’t go in for the idea of preferred candidates.

The sky’s the limit
But there is speculation she could rise even higher. The current European Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, will step down after the upcoming European elections and Vestager could be in the running to replace him.

“She’s highly respected, serious, visible, active and a very strong card for ALDE. Personally, I think she would be an excellent president for the commission,” Rem Korteweg, a senior researcher at the Dutch Institute for International Relations, told DR Nyheder.

He also went on to say that she may face competition from the Dutch PM Mark Rutte, who is also a member of the ALDE group.

Vestager herself refused to be drawn on the issue, telling Politiken: “I’m just part of the team.”