02.10, 1800 – Margrethe Vestager (Competition)

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Political Flair 6 / 10
Credibility 9 / 10
Energy 7 / 10
Warmth 7 / 10
Ability to connect with people outside Brussels 6 / 10
Likelihood of being approved by the EP 10 / 10
Overall rating 8.5 / 10

“I will not be swayed by anyone” were the stand out words from Vestager’s introduction. She started briefly in Danish, and then switched to English, and had a stronger focus on the principles with which she will conduct her work than policy specifics – but that is inevitable given she is nominee for the Competition portfolio.

Unlike some nominees Vestager did not just read a script, instead glancing at what I assume was a list of bullet points. Her delivery was calm and reassured, and then when questions started she became a little more animated, showing small glimpses of a sense of humour when dealing with questions that were more rants than questions from MEPs. She also had mastered the main aspects of her brief prior to the hearing.

The Competition portfolio is a slightly odd one in the College of Commissioners – operating more alone than the other portfolios, and with more a question of the judgment of the Commissioner. Vestager’s calm reassurance – even gaining a positive reception from ECR MEP Kay Swinburne – struck the right note in this respect. She will be a competent, reassuring, calm and reliable Commissioner, and that is exactly the impression she has given in this hearing.

Photo: CC License from flickr – original source here.

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