No need to panic over politicization of Appointments Committee, says Jõks

Allar Jõks.
Allar Jõks. Source: Hanna Samoson/ERR

Sorainen law office partner and former justice chancellor Allar Jõks said at a media morning event that when it comes to the new supervisory boards' Appointments Committee, attention should be paid to who is elected to the supervisory boards of companies with a state holding, but added that there is no need to panic, daily Postimees writes.

As justice chancellor, in 2004, Jõks drew attention to the fact that no MPs should serve on supervisory boards of companies with a state holding, as this involves a conflict of interest between legislation and supervision. In 2008, he proposed amending the law, but the law was not amended, and MPs were only excluded from the membership of supervisory boards with the change of government in 2016.

Jõks also participated in the working group for the drawing up of a white paper on the ownership policy concerning state-run companies initiated under the leadership of Erkki Raasuke, where the basis for the establishment of the Appointments Committee was established.

"I do not shrae the criticism that two party members have been added to the Appointments Committee," he said, basing his statement on the State Assets Act, which highlights the requirements for the election of members to the Appointments Committee. "The law does not state that a member of the Appointments Committee cannot be a member of a party."

He explained that there were other requirements, such as long-term managerial experience and an impeccable business reputation. "If someone has a good professional and business reputation and belongs to a political party, why could they not be a member of the Appointments Committee?" he asked.

Jõks added that the role of the Appointments Committee has also been overstated. "The Appointments Committee does not itself appoint the members of the supervisory boards of companies with a state holding, but rather submits proposals to the respective minister," he explained. "The proposal is non-binding, meaning that the minister may, under certain conditions, reject the proposal, but they cannot nominate the person they wish to appear on the supervisory board."

He said that the Appointments Committee, which includes representatives of both the private and public sector, ensures that good and balanced decisions are made.

"Attention should be paid to what the supervisory board member appointments will look like, but there is no need to panic," he added.

As an example, Jõks also highlighted that, pursuant to the Estonian Public Broadcasting Act, the supervisory board of Estonian Public Broadcasting (ERR) includes representatives of all parliamentary groups in the Riigikogu, and nobody even thinks to claim that the public broadcaster is politicized as a result.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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