Hannes Rumm (SDE) will step down as head of the European Commission’s representation in Estonia in August. Current MP and chairman of the Riigikogu’s EU affairs committee Kalle Palling (Reform) is considered the strongest candidate for the job, but could face difficulties due to his criticism of EU commission president Juncker.
Daily Eesti Päevaleht wrote on Wednesday that a potential candidacy of Palling could provoke a negative reaction in Brussels, as he criticized Jean-Claude Juncker during a live broadcast of a committee session in the Riigikogu.
On Monday last week Palling commented Juncker’s reaction to the result of the United Kingdom’s EU membership referendum. In the committee session, which was broadcast live, Palling said that the most important institution in the EU was the European Council, and that “the European Commission and the commission’s president are nobody”. He added that Juncker’s tweets weren’t worth paying attention to.
According to Päevaleht, this comment caused quite a reaction in the higher echelons of the European Commission. And as the local representations of the commission report to its president, chances were lightweight that Juncker would appoint someone so critical of him, the paper opined.
Kalle Palling had earlier expressed interest in the position, which comes with a very comfortable salary measured by Estonian standards. The current man in office, Hannes Rumm, will step down on Aug. 31.
Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn