A bimonthly magazine on international affairs, edited in Germany's capital

In 140 Characters: Margrethe Vestager


The EU’s Commissioner for Competition on taking on the likes of Google and knitting elephants.


@vestager You’ve just completed your #firstyear in office – what surprised you? #i140c

@berlinpolicy How much energy and concentration it takes to get used to work in a different language than your mother tongue


@vestager And your biggest #disappointment so far? 

@berlinpolicy Not #disappointment – rather an observation: that you need a lot of patience because some cases do take a lot of time


@vestager #Google, #Amazon, #Apple, #Starbucks, and now #McDonalds: you’ve been called their “steely foe” – fair description?

@berlinpolicy We are not against any companies, small or big. What we look for is their behaviour and that they compete on a level playing field


@vestager Another label you’ve earned from the #press is “iron lady”. What does that mean?

@berlinpolicy That the #press gets more clicks and sells more news with descriptions like this


@vestager Your predecessor aimed for settlements with the likes of #Google #Gazprom. Why did you choose a more confrontational approach?

@berlinpolicy The settlement approach was tried 3 times and without success. Therefore there was a need to change approach


@vestager What’s a good example of #EU #antitrust laws at work?

@berlinpolicy We enforce the competition rules case-by-case basis define and implement the orientation of the EU competition policy


@vestager What are the biggest challenges for #EU #competitiveness?

@berlinpolicy To protect competition and to ensure a dynamic and innovative Europe


@vestager We hear you keep an irreverent #artifact on your coffee table – what is it, why are you keeping it?

@berlinpolicy A fuck finger given by a trade union who disagreed with me. I keep as a reminder: with difficult decisions there is often disagreement


@vestager Who do you think are #must-follows on Twitter?

@berlinpolicy Well, it depends on your interests. I follow different news, old and new colleagues and themes I like


@vestager What statement or #tweet has brought you the most criticism?

@berlinpolicy I cannot remember. But limit of 140 characters sometimes makes it difficult to explain and thus understand…


@vestager You are an accomplished #knitter of #elephants. Do you do other animals?

@berlinpolicy No. I like the elephants because they bear no grudge, but remember well.


@vestager If you could have a one-on-one meeting with anyone in the world, who would it be? #i140c

@berlinpolicy Nelson Mandela. He spoke to the best in people. I hope that his fight for freedom lives on