Neelie Kroes will be the new telecoms and digital commissioner at the European Commission, the post now held by Vivienne Reding. Kroes is the current competition commissioner and has established a reputation as a hardliner.
She was responsible for heavy fines slapped against Intel and Microsoft. Just recently, she also oversaw state aid to failing banks, resulting in their stringent restructuring in return for state money.
Kroes will enter familiar territory, as she served as the Dutch Minister of Transport, Public Works and Water Management from 1982 until 1989, during which time she was responsible for the privatisation of the Post and Telephone Services.
She will work under the new European telecoms regime, which was written under Reding and has now been accepted by the European Parliament.
The telecom reform package consists of five separate directives: the Framework Directive, the Access Directive, the Authorization Directive, the Universal Service Directive and the e-Privacy Directive, and also allows for the establishment of a single European Body of Telecoms Regulators (BEREC), which will be able to control and co-ordinate national regulators.