President-elect Jose Manuel Durao Barroso gave three of the top economic posts of competition, trade and internal markets to free market advocates.
The new European Commission is set to have a distinctly neo-liberal angle as the three of the top economic posts have gone to people who favor market liberalization. Competition, which is arguably the biggest commission portfolio, will be handled by Neelie Kroes, who comes from the Netherlands' free market Liberal Party, while the Briton Peter Mandelson will take on the trade portfolio. Mandelson is also a strong proponent of free trade and a former trade minister. Responsible for the internal market and financial services is the Irishman Charlie McCreevy. He has been finance minister in Ireland for seven years and is known as a free marketer. These appointments are likely to make it harder for France and Germany to push their traditionally more protectionist agenda. ( EUobserver.com)