Home News The appointment of American Fiona Scott Morton to the European Commission angers France

The appointment of American Fiona Scott Morton to the European Commission angers France

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The appointment of an American, a former Obama administration executive, to a key position in the European Commission linked to the regulation of US tech giants is causing outrage in France…even if Brussels rules out any conflicts of interest.

The European Union’s chief executive announced Tuesday that Fiona Scott Morton, professor of economics at Yale University, has been named the new chief economist in the Directorate-General for Competition. She is scheduled to take office on September 1.

sequel after announcement

This service is responsible for ensuring the proper functioning of competition in the European Union and for investigating certain breaches of dominant position by digital giants that have led to record fines in recent years.

France requests a “reconsideration.” [ce] option “

At the end of Thursday afternoon, the French Minister responsible for digital, Jean-Noel Barrot, asked the European Commission to reconsider this appointment. “As Europe embarks on some of the world’s most ambitious digital regulations, a Chief Economist has recently been appointed to the Directorate General. [direction générale, NDLR] Competition is not without raising legitimate questions.Minister confirms in a tweetbefore calling the committee to reconsider his choice..

Even French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna went out there with a tweet demanding that this appointment be reconsidered: “Digital regulation is a major issue for France and Europe. This designation deserves to be reconsidered by the Committee.”

Twitter – Catherine Colonna on Twitter

More broadly, this news displeased the French political class, all parties combined. Elected officials have specially suspended his previous jobs as head of economic analysis in the US Department of Justice’s antitrust division, between May 2011 and December 2012, or as a consultant to large technology groups such as Apple and Microsoft.

“One of the American lobbyists for GAFAM”

The appointment comes at a time when the European Union must implement ambitious new legislation to regulate the sector and prompts criticism against the commission’s chairwoman, Ursula von der Leyen, who is too Atlanticist.

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“Recruiting an American lobbyist from GAFAM at a time when Europe is finally deciding to limit its power is disgraceful. This appointment is improper at best, dangerous at worst. In any case, the committee should abandon it.Conservative MP Geoffroy Didier (not a Republican) told AFP. In Brussels, when a lobbyist goes out the door, he comes back through the window.Criticize.

Fiona Scott Morton has been recruited “scandal”denounced MEP Yannick Gadot, and also asked Ursula von der Leyen To revoke this immoral appointment..

sequel after announcement

Twitter – Yannick Gadot on Twitter

The European Commission wants to be reassuring

Asked by AFP, a spokeswoman for the European Commission said Fiona Scott Morton’s new job consisted of an advisory role on economic issues to Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager.

Any risk of conflict of interest is excluded. Before hiring Fiona Scott Morton, “The committee carefully considered whether it had any personal interest such as compromising its independence.”I explained.

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The spokeswoman confirmed that the new chief economist will not be “She is not involved in the files she worked on or that she was aware of in her previous employment.”. Plus, for the first two years in her new role, Fiona Scott Morton won’t be able to take care of her. From any file related to the companies she worked for (or had clients) during the year preceding her joining the Authority..

The European executive has justified opening the job to non-EU applications before “very specific knowledge required”. Despite this wide openness, the commission claims to have received only “limited number of applications”. Fiona Scott Morton “He has proven to be the best choice among these candidates in terms of his qualifications and performance during the recruitment process.”explained the speaker.

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