By Wieke van der Kroef
On Monday evening, the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) of the European Parliament heard Andrus Ansip to assess his competencies to take on the role of Vice-President for the European Digital Market. The hearing room was far from full as Ansip’s hearing was simultaneous to one with the more debated Commissioner-designate, Alenka Bratusek.
In his opening statement and answers, Ansip showed a dedication to the Digital Single Market. He stated that ‘as a liberal’ civil rights and data protection are high on his agenda. He also stated that suspending the Safe Harbour Agreement with the United States is an option if the US cannot guarantee the ‘safety’ of data. His level of detail in answers and use of statistics went far beyond that of some other Commissioners-designate.
With a question that she sourced from Twitter, IMCO Chair Vicky Ford turned the hearing digital. Together with his convincing ‘yes’ to Julia Reda’s question whether he was prepared to do a second online hearing with the online community, made this the most digital hearing up to date. After his open and clear answers, it can be assumed that Ansip will easily get the official support of the committee in their indicative vote later this week.