#AskAnsip: Proposed EU digital chief to answer questions on Twitter

Only one of the EU's proposed digital commissioners seems to be prepared to answer questions on Twitter

The likely next EU digital chief Andrus Ansip invited Twitter users to question him during an hour long Twitter chat

The likely next EU digital chief Andrus Ansip invited Twitter users to question him during an hour long Twitter chat

Anyone with a burning question about the European Union's upcoming tech agenda has the chance to get an answer during a Twitter chat on Wednesday with Andrus Ansip, who could soon be the European Commission's Vice-President of the Digital Single Market.

Ansip invited everyone to send him questions and suggestions. "Let me know what should be on my 'to-do-list' for the next 5 years," he tweeted to his rather modest Twitter following of about 3,000. Questions can be tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnsip and Ansip will answer some of them between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. CET on Wednesday.

Ansip is expected to share the Commission's digital portfolio with Günther Oettinger in a realignment of its oversight of that area when Commissioner Neelie Kroes steps down along with the rest of the Commission on Nov. 1. Both candidates already got the green light from the European Parliament after it held confirmation hearings with the proposed Commissioners.

Although Ansip announced the Twitter Q&A last week, it hasn't have gathered a huge amount of interest so far. Looking at the tweets tagged with #AskAnsip some people seem to be concerned about net neutrality. "How can the EU enforce net neutrality?" asked one Twitter user, continuing -- apparently on a mobile device with autocorrect enabled -- "How can a costumer be sure his provider isn't voluntarily degrading a best effort service?"

Another user wanted to know what Ansip's mandate is "to run, govern and filter the internet."

Meanwhile, lobby groups are also taking the opportunity to question Ansip. The Federation of European Direct and Interactive Marketing (FEDMA) for instance seemed concerned about the upcoming reform of the EU's data protection rules. The organization wants to know if the Commission will consider industry self regulation as an adequate tool to ensure privacy and also asked what Ansip considers being the key principles of ethical personal data management.

Ansip, a 58-year-old former Estonian prime minister, decided to answer questions on Twitter after a suggestion by Julia Reda, a German Member of Parliament (MEP) for the European Pirate Party.

"It is an absolute novelty for designated EU commissioners to face direct questioning by the people ahead of the start of their mandate," Reda said, adding that this represents a further step in the democratization of the EU while giving the Internet community an opportunity to make their concerns heard.

Reda has also been collecting questions to ask Ansip on her site WhatWouldYouAsk.eu where people can vote on questions to ask. The most popular one questions what Ansip has learned from supporting the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which threatened digital rights of European citizens until it was abandoned by the Commission in 2012.

People also want to know if Ansip is willing to "abolish copyright levies which are only benefiting wealthy and opaque collecting societies" while they are curious to know what the Commission can do to protect European citizens against surveillance.

Reda also called on Oettinger, the current commissioner for Energy designated to be the commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, to follow Ansip's example. So far however @GOettingerEU with his 16.9 thousand followers has not responded to Reda's call for a public hearing online.

Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, online payment issues as well as EU technology policy and regulation for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to loek_essers@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediainternettwittereuropean commissionInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Loek Essers

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Bang and Olufsen Beosound Stage - Dolby Atmos Soundbar

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Nakamichi Delta 100 3-Way Hi Fi Speaker System

Learn more >

ASUS ROG, ACRONYM partner for Special Edition Zephyrus G14

Learn more >

Sony WF-1000XM3 Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit for Nintendo Switch

Learn more >

Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean 9000 Toothbrush

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Teac 7 inch Swivel Screen Portable DVD Player

Learn more >

SunnyBunny Snowflakes 20 LED Solar Powered Fairy String

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?