Group of MEPs Demands Kallas’s Resignation as Commissioner
On the initiative of Estonian MEP Indrek Tarand, a group of MEPs have sent a letter to European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso to demand the resignation of Estonian commissioner Siim Kallas, tipped to be the next prime minister of Estonia.
The group cited Article 17 of the EU Treaty that says that "members of the commission shall neither seek nor take instructions from any government or other institution, body, office or entity” and that the members should refrain from actions incompatible with their duties, EUObserver reported today.
According to Barroso's spokeswoman, Kallas has informed Barroso of his ambitions in Estonia but has not asked for leave yet.
Kallas is expected to be handed the mandate of forming a new government today, and his cabinet would be in office until the 2015 elections.
Last week, Prime Minister Andrus Ansip resigned and has confirmed he would like to succeed Kallas at the European Commission.
Tarand, who has announced he is running for European Parliament again, says Kallas is afraid he will not get the backing of the Estonian Parliament once he has put together a government and wants to keep his position as a Commissioner for Transport as a Plan B.
Tarand also argues the possible Ansip-Kallas switch is unlikely to succeed, as the new commissioner candidate will have to pass a vote at the European Parliament.