Margrethe Vestager

A Europe Fit for the Digital Age

Executive Vice-President

Known as the “dragon slayer”, Margrethe Vestager has a reputation for bringing state aid cases against some of the biggest multinationals (think Google, Apple and Facebook). A politician since the age of 21, Vestager quickly rose to become National Chair of the Danish Social Liberal Party, before serving as leader from 2007 to 2014. Taking on the role of Minister of Economic Affairs in 2014, just after their near-miss recession in 2012, was a bold move, and many consider her cuts to Denmark’s social welfare system to have pulled the Danish economy back from the brink. As Commissioner for Competition in the Juncker Commission, Vestager made enemies through her strict rules around multinational corporations (Donald Trump called her the EU’s “tax lady”). In fact, her reputation for disempowering tech giants may have lost her the Presidency – she was proposed for the 2019 election, but was blocked by France after she stopped a merger between Alstom and Siemens. In her new role – titled “A Europe Fit for the Digital Age” – Vestager seeks to further restrict the actions of huge tech companies, presenting the draft Digital Services and Digital Markets Acts which would designate digital “gatekeepers” to larger companies.