MEPs quiz commissioner Vestager about nomination of chief economist | News

Ekonomska i monetarna politika – Europski parlament

During the debate, European Commission Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager explained what led her and the Commission to choose US national Fiona Scott Morton as chief competition economist. “It would be wrong to deprive the Commission and Europeans of the best economic advice, and there are not many people who can fulfil this specific role. That is why the college of Commissioners decided to open the post to applicants of all nationalities”, she said, arguing “experience in private companies should be an asset and not a hindrance.”

MEPs did not question Professor Fiona Scott Morton’s qualifications, but raised concerns regarding potential conflict of interest, how the Commission will address this, and if there were any European candidates with suitable qualifications for the job. Some MEPs were worried the new chief economist’s previous work for American tech companies could become an issue, especially given the focus of the Commission on big tech cases. MEPs asked if there are specific cases on which Professor Scott Morton will not be allowed to work, and they demanded more transparency on her previous activities as well as on similar future appointments.

You can watch the video recording of the debate here.

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