The last weeks here in the parliament have been quite focused on the hearing of the Commissioner Candidates for the Juncker Commission. I have been focusing on the two candidates who will be the primary commissioners for all matters tied to the Internet; Andrus Ansip, from Estonia, and Günther Oettinger, from Germany. I had some concerns already when the candidates where announced, and took measures to be able to direct questions to both of the candidates at their hearings, inspired by the questions I collected from you on my website I have taken some time to reflect on the hearings of the Internet Commissioners Oettinger & Ansip as well as the International Trade Commissioner Malmström, who will be in charge of the TTIP negotiations, in this week’s podcast.

But I do not believe that hearings in the European Parliament are sufficient to give the general public the insight into the competences and ambitions of the Commissioner designates they deserve, and for that reason I decided to ask Ansip, during his hearing in the parliament, whether or not he would be willing to do a public online hearing. As a Commissioner for the Digital Single Market and Vice-President of the Commission I considered him the most suitable candidate to set an example for future commission Candidates by allowing himself to be questioned by the public before the Parliament vote on the new Commission. Was he in, or was he out?

To my great satisfaction Ansip replied that he would indeed be willing to do an online hearing,. This has now been anounced to take place tomorrow, October 15, from 11-12 am on twitter. You will be able to ask questions directly to Ansip using the hashtag #AskAnsip.

By the way, I also asked Oettinger whether he would be up for an online hearing, but while he said he’d follow Ansip’s lead on this idea, he has remained completely quiet since Ansip announced his public twitter hearing. Is Oettinger scared of entering into a dialogue with the online community?

I would like to encourage you to share this information to everyone who cares about the Digital Agenda of Europe so that we can have as many insightful questions as possible during the hearing and then hopefully in five years from now we will have online hearings by the public with all candidates for the next Commission.

If and when I have any information about an online hearing of Oettinger, mentioned in my previous post, I will make sure to share it. So make sure to keep an eye on #AskOettinger on twitter.

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