Being introduced as ‘one of Europe’s most influential female leaders’, the Commissioner was presented with the medal of Honour – for outstanding contribution to public discourse - by the Trinity Debating Society.
Following a reference to the upcoming European elections, Margrethe Vestager stated that democracy is all about passion and a matter of our hearts. The Commissioner encouraged everybody to engage in the upcoming elections since there is so much at stake.
Since the Dialogue took place in a debating society, she elaborated that
any disagreement is the perfect starting point for a constructive debate and those debates have become a rare commodity in our modern techdriven society.
Fortunately, the young audience was not shy to challenge the Commissioner, with an array of questions on different topics from global trade relationships, ‘big-data’ and competition to some very domestic and local topics. On a question from a participant ‘Why is ‘merger-control’ a priority for the EU Commission?’ Margrethe Vestager replied, that you can grow to success, but we cannot allow companies to buy themselves into a dominant/monopoly market position.
Replying to a question concerning the new trade relationships that the EU27 are concluding, Margrethe Vestager praised the work of Commissioner Malmström and explained that the new model is based on trust in our partners. We share and respect many of the same fundamental values and together we can address issues such as climate and infrastructure, equality and social rights.
Having this Dialogue in Ireland during a period with daily front-page Brexit coverage in the press, it was remarkable how little the Brexit topic took up the scene and the Commissioner noted ‘I sense that you really appreciate an Brexit free debate – me too’ – big applause!
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