In the week that the United States said goodbye to Donald Trump and swore in a new president, European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova tells FRANCE 24 the arrival of Joe Biden in the White House is “very good news”. “We have big plans with America: in security, climate change, the fight against Covid-19 and also democracy and technologies which should serve the people and not the other way around,” she says.
There are still questions about whether there will be new laws and rules for social media following the bans on Donald Trump. It’s an issue where the European Commission says it has some answers, in the shape of new laws laid out in December 2020: “What we see on the internet should be regulated by the law, not by the internal rules of private companies,” the Commission VP tells us.
After the World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa criticised unnamed “rich countries” for “hoarding vaccines”, Vera Jourova defends the EU’s actions, saying “the Commission did what we had to do. We contracted 2.3 billion doses for European citizens but also doses for those who will need it from outside.”
And on the landmark internal EU procedure to uphold the rule of law in member states, Commissioner Jourova dismisses criticism from Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban that the new procedure is unfair on his country. She tells FRANCE 24 she hopes that the European Court of Justice will deliver its verdict on the legality of the procedure by the end of this year, to enable the Commission to put it into practice soon afterwards. “I believe we will receive the judgement of the court this year – the earlier the better but I cannot influence the courts, it’s fully independent. Soon afterwards, the Commission will take necessary actions,” she explains.
Produced by Perrine Desplats