Who's who: Estonia's government July 2022-March 2023

Facade of Toompea Castle, home of the Riigikogu.
Facade of Toompea Castle, home of the Riigikogu. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

On Thursday, the three coalition parties put forward candidates for ministers of the next government. There are old and new faces. ERR News introduces them.


The will be 15 ministers in the new coalition, five from each party.

Six of the proposed ministers have no previous ministerial experience and five of those are not sitting members of the Riigikogu.

Four ministers will continue in their previous positions.

Of the 15 ministers, seven are women, including the prime minister.

The average age of ministers is 45.6 years old. The oldest is 60 and the youngest 31.


Division of Ministers

Reform: Prime minister, minister of finance, minister of defense, minister of social protection and minister of rural affairs.

Ismaaa: Minister of foreign affairs, minister of education and research, minister of justice, minister of entrepreneurship and information technology (IT) and minister of public administration.

SDE: Minister of the interior, minister of health and labor, minister of economic affairs and infrastructure, minister of the environment, and minister of culture.

Reform Party Ministers

Prime Minister: Kaja Kallas

Kaja Kallas Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Kaja Kallas (45) will return as prime minister. She has led the government since January 2021.

Kallas is chairman of the Reform Party and a former Member of the European Parliament (2014-2018).

Minister of Finance: Annely Akkermann

Annely Akkermann. Source: Riigikantselei / Jürgen Randma

Annely Akkermann (50) replaced Keit Pentus-Rosimannus in October 2022.

She has considerable experience in the field of finance in both the public and private sector, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said. The minister will be in office for approximately five months.

Minister of Defense: Hanno Pevkur

Hanno Pevkur. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Hanno Pevkur (45) is a former minister of social affairs (2009-2019), minister of justice (2012-2014) and minister of interior (2014-2016). He is currently an MP and deputy speaker of the Riigikogu. 

Pevkur replaces Kalle Laanet.

Minister of Social Protection: Signe Riisalo

Signe Riisalo. Source: Riigikantselei

Signe Riisalo (53) retains her position as minister of social protection.

Before joining the government in January 21, she was a member of several Riigikogu committees and a long-term official at the Social Affairs Ministry (1993–2019).

Minister of Rural Affairs: Urmas Kruuse

Minister of Rural Affairs Urmas Kruuse. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Urmas Kruuse (57) remains minister of rural affairs.

He is a former minister of rural affairs (2015-2016), minister of health and labour (2014-2015), mayor of Tartu and mayor of Elva.

Isamaa Party Ministers

Minister of Foreign Affairs: Urmas Reinsalu

Urmas Reinsalu. Source: Raigo Pajula

Urmas Reinsalu (47) was foreign minister in Jüri Ratas' second government (2019-2021) and will return to the role.

He is currently a member of the Riigikogu and has previously acted as minister of justice (2015-2019) and minister of defense (2012-2014).

Minister of Education and Research: Tõnis Lukas

Tõnis Lukas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Tõnis Lukas (60) was most recently minister of culture between 2019-2021 in the Center/Isamaa/EKRE government. He is leader of Tartu City Council and director of the Estonian Literary Museum.

His new appointment will not be a new role for him, as he has previously held the position of minister of education and research several times (1999-2002; 2007-2011).

Lukas is a former director of the Estonian National Museum.

Minister of Public Administration: Riina Solman

Riina Solman. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Riina Solman (50) was minister for population affairs in the Center/Isamaa/EKRE government (2019-2021), a role that no longer exists. She is still a member of the Riigikogu.

Solman has a background in media and communications and was an adviser at the ministry of defense (2007-2011). She is the vice-chairman of Isamaa.

Minister of Entrepreneurship and IT: Kristjan Järvan

Kristjan Järvan. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Kristjan Järvan (31) is an entrepreneur and chief backer of Isamaa's pension reform which was introduced several years ago.

He is founder of Imortalis, "a platform bringing together aspiring mothers and men who are willing to support the mothers financially", which he has said he will step aside from.

This will be his first ministerial position. He is not a member of the Riigikogu.

Minister of Justice: Lea Danilson-Järg

Lea Danilson-Järg. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Lea Danilson-Järg (44) is currently an editor at Estonia's oldest and biggest daily newspaper Postimees.

During the Center/Isamaa/EKRE coalition (2019-2021), Danilson-Järg was head of the population and family policy department at the ministry of interior.

She is not a member of the Riigikogu and this will be her first ministerial role.

Social Democratic Party (SDE) Ministers

Minister of Interior: Lauri Läänemets

Lauri Läänemets. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Lauri Läänemets (39) is a member of the Riigikogu and chairman of the SDE since February 2022.

This will be his first ministerial post.

Minister of Culture: Piret Hartman

Piret Hartman, head of the Cultural Diversity Department at the Ministry of Culture. Source: Ministry of Culture

Piret Hartman (41) is undersecretary for cultural diversity at the Ministry of Culture and chairman of the board of the Integration Foundation.

Previously she was an advisor to Minister of Culture Indrek Saar (SDE) (2015-2019)

This will be Hartman's first ministerial role. She is not currently a member of the Riigikogu.

Minister of Health and Labor: Peep Peterson

Peep Peterson, head of the Confederation of Trade Unions. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

Peep Peterson (47) is currently head of the Estonian Trade Union Confederation (Eesti ametiühingute keskliit) and has been in the role since 2013.

He is not a member of the Riigikogu and this will be his first ministerial position.

Minister of Economic Affairs and Infastructure: Riina Sikkut

Riina Sikkut. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Riina Sikkut (39) is a former health and labor minister and current Riigikogu member (2018-2019).

She ran for chairman of the SDE but lost to Läänemets in February 2022.

Minister of Environment: Madis Kallas

Madis Kallas. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Madis Kallas (41) is the mayor of Saaremaa municipality, which consists of Estonia's largest islands Saaremaa and Muhu.

He has not previously been a member of the Riigikogu or a minister.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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