EC President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker has named German politician Günther Oettinger as Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, replacing Neelie Kroes, whose term ends when Junker’s Commission takes office.
Oettinger has been the member of the European Commission responsible for energy since February 2010, and a Vice-President since 1 July 2014.
In a statement shortly after the announcement of his appointment, Oettinger said he was “not happy but satisfied” as well as “motivated and curious” about the new portfolio.
Oettinger subsequently tweeted that was “looking forward” to his new task, noting that Digital Economy and Society was one of the top priorities of the Juncker Commission, later tweeting that he had his first two-day-meeting with new colleagues. “All highly motivated. Happy to work in the new team!”
In some quarters, Oettinger’s appointment is seen as a ‘tit-for-tat’ response to German Chancellor Angela Merkel after she failed to hide her disdain of Juncker’s election and was reportedly seeking to have Oettinger appointed to the Trade Commissioner post.