Siim Kallas to run for ALDE leader
The Reform Party has decided to nominate former Estonian prime minister Siim Kallas to replace Sir Graham Watson as the President of ALDE, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe Party.
ALDE will elect a new leadership on November 21.
"As a former prime minister and EU commissioner, Siim Kallas has a strong background in international relations, so he's definitely a worthy candidate," Estonian Prime Minister and Reform Party chairman Taavi Rõivas explained the decision.
Kallas himself called the position an inspiring challenge. "It's not a coincident that modern European democracy is called liberal democracy. Yet we have to question if the European Union's current, democratic governance can answer all the challenges in its path, if its legitimate in the eyes of its citizen, sufficient and capable of counteracting populism? The liberals have a historic duty to be at the forefront of reforming the leadership," Kallas said.
ALDE unites 55 parties and many individual members from 37 countries across Europe. In the EU, ALDE with the conservatives and socialists form the so-called Commission Majority.
ALDE is the third largest European-wide political party represented in European Union institutions, with 70 MEPs and 5 members of the European Commission. Of the 28 EU member states, there are seven with ALDE-affiliated Prime Ministers: Xavier Bettel in Luxembourg, Charles Michel in Belgium, Taavi Rõivas in Estonia, Miro Cerar in Slovenia, Juha Sipilä in Finland, Mark Rutte in the Netherlands and Lars Løkke Rasmussen in Denmark.