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Kroes confirmed in post

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The European Commission has confirmed the rumours of the shift of Neelie Kroes, the Dutch People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy politician, from the Competition policy directorate to a new Digital Agenda brief. Kroes will also become a Vice-President of the Commission (as will Viviane Reding, her predecessor).

The post is designed to provide a greater focus on digital issues from the ‘information society’ brief of the previous role. Much of the online comment about Kroes’s switch is directed towards the apparent downgrading that this is held to represent, pretty much in line with the lowest common denominator-type arguments that accompanied the appointments earlier in November of Herman van Rompuy and Baroness Ashton, but it’s sure that she will bring a tenacity and single-mindedness to the role. Consequently, she may well be a very good advocate for, dare I say, Digital Europe – although whether we need advocacy or practical action at this point to effect a Digital Europe is a moot point. As we’ve seen in the UK, digitalisation is a huge subject touching areas which are the responsibility of several different departments and bringing all that together into a coherent agenda perhaps demands more the skill of a consensus builder than one whose reputation comes with added steel.

Ms Kroes’s appointment – as with each of the members of the Commission – is subject to the approval of the European Parliament at individual hearings due to take place in January.


Written by Calvin

30/11/2009 at 6:44 pm

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