EU gets new digital commissioner

The EU’s powerful and proactive telecoms commissioner Viviane Reding has been shifted to another portfolio in a reshuffle of top officials.

After five years in the telecom hot seat, Commissioner Reding will move to the Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Commission. She has also been appointed vice president of the EC.

During her tenure she took on Europe’s biggest operators on issues such as anti-competitive practices and mobile roaming tariffs. Reding was also behind the EC telecoms reform package.

Reding will be replaced by Dutch-born competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, with whom she has worked closely.

As the EU’s chief competition regulator, Kroes made some controversial decisions, including the €1 billon penalty on Microsoft over Windows OS, and was behind the push to end the cross-border iTunes price differential.

In her new post, Kroes takes on the role of “digital agenda” commissioner and will also oversee the European Network and Information Security Agency (Enisa) and the Information Society Directorate-General.