The Parliament's European Affairs Committee and Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas endorsed former Prime Minister Andrus Ansip as the Estonian candidate for the EC post today.
Speaking at the hearing on the Estonian candidate for one of the EU commissioners, Ansip said his liberal views are well known in Estonia, as he had 10 years as prime minister to demonstrate them.
He highlighted three areas he plans to work with: ensuring the energy independence of Europe, supporting democracy and welfare in Europe’s neighboring countries and bolstering the common market.
Ansip floated the idea of requiring all commissioners to have the approval of the European Parliament, like ministers are approved by the parliament in individual states.
He noted that if the president of the European Commission approves his candidacy, the president will also select the area he will be working in, adding that he has expressed interest in economy and finance but it is too early for speculations.
Arto Aas, head of the Committee for European Affairs, said Estonia has to present the best candidate, as the commissioner’s position is one of the most high-ranking allocated to the country. The committee met with Ansip on June 6 and recognized him as a strong candidate.
Rõivas said at the hearing that Ansip is well known and held in esteem among European leaders and it would be difficult to come up with a better candidate.