Coalition Yet to Agree on New EU Commissioner ({{commentsTotal}})

IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu
IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu Source: (Postimees/Scanpix)

IRL and the Reform Party have potentially slippery talks ahead to name a replacement for Estonia's EU commissioner toward the end of the year, with negotiations set to start soon.

Currently the parties have different views on which of them should be able to put forward a candidate. Siim Kallas of the Reform Party has held the post of transport commissioner from 2004, but is set to step down when the current commission's term ends on October 31.

A previous agreement between the two parties named IRL's Mart Laar as the next person to take a post, but Laar has now turned down the job, opting instead to continue as head the supervisory board at the Bank of Estonia.

IRL Chairman Urmas Reinsalu told ETV on Thursday that his party should nevertheless retain the right to name the next commissioner, as the post should alternate between coalition partners.

Hanno Pevkur, justice minister and Reform Party board member, said Estonia should foremost find a candidate who is respected in the European Commission, adding that Andrus Ansip would be a worthy candidate for the position as no other PM has been at the helm of a country in Europe for longer.