Europe Analytica congratulates President Ursula von der Leyen and the College of Commissioners for starting their five-year mandate and we welcome their ambitious goals across the policy spectrum, from tackling the climate crisis to having a new push for European democracy. With the EU facing a myriad of challenges and opportunities it is vital to not only have a team of Commissioners that “strives for more”, but a team that is open to working constructively with trusted stakeholders - representing European consumers and business - so that the EU is best equipped to overcome the challenges and seize the opportunities presented in the 21st century.
Angela Mills-Wade, a Director at Europe Analytica, welcomes the start of the new Commission: “We look forward to working with the new Commission to deliver ambitious policies to underpin our precious democracy, strengthen the creative industries, foster fair competition and reflect our European values.”
In particular, it is most welcome that one of President Von der Leyen’s top priorities is to focus on making “Europe fit for a Digital Age.” Digitalisation is transforming the EU and affecting how Europeans live their day to day lives and how business – from the small start up to the mighty conglomerate - conduct their affairs. Therefore, it is fitting that this significant and sensitive portfolio is the responsibility of Executive Vice President Vestager, who in her previous mandate as Commissioner for Competition saw first-hand the impact digitalisation is having on the EU and its citizens.
We support Executive Vice President Vestager’s statement she made in the hearing and look forward to engaging with her on these issues: “[...] we need to engage with people’s concerns about technology and, in that process, to build trust. I will work on a Digital Services Act that includes upgrading our liability and safety rules on digital platforms, services and products. We may also need to regulate the way that companies collect and use and share data so that it benefits all of society.”
Europe Analytica also welcomes Von der Leyen’s decision to amend Commissioner Gabriel’s portfolio so that it includes Culture. We wholeheartedly agree with your statement: “culture and education are what link our history with our future. This is what makes us unique. Our soul, our culture, our diversity, our heritage.”
It was equally encouraging to hear Commissioner Gabriel defend the Horizon Europe budget proposal during her hearing: “As for the budget, I am clearly on the side of the European Parliament. I will vigorously defend the budget increase for the Horizon Europe programme, because it will have to be understood that the budget for Horizon Europe is not an expense, it’s an investment.”
President Von der Leyen, we look forward to working with you, your Commissioners and your Services over the coming years.