On 10 September 2019, Margrethe Vestager was proposed as the European Commissioner for Competition, a post which she has held since November 2014. The appointment is still subject to the confirmation of the European Parliament.
Vestager has also been given the role of Executive Vice President, with the mandate of making “Europe Fit for the Digital Age”.
In her Mission Letter to Vestager, incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said she wanted Vestager to focus on strengthening competition enforcement in all sectors, by improving case detection, speeding up investigations and encouraging cooperation between national competition authorities on both an EU and global level. Vestager is also set to review EU competition rules on antitrust, merger control and State aid. Von der Leyen expects Vestager to do so by using the tool of sector enquiries. She is also expected to develop policies to tackle the effects of foreign State ownership and subsidies in the EU and share market knowledge within the European Commission, particularly in relation to the digital sector.
Vestager’s additional role of Executive Vice President (“Europe fit for the Digital Age”) makes her responsible for addressing issues of cybersecurity, technological sovereignty and artificial intelligence across Europe. When asked by reporters how she planned to balance this new role with that at the DG COMP, Vestager clarified that she had “no intention” of trying to do all the work herself; rather, “the task is to make a sufficiently strong team among commissioners to make sure we can make things happen”. The choice to entrust Vestager with both roles may mean that there will be a closer relationship between competition enforcement and regulatory policy in digital markets.