European Parliament votes in support of Pentus-Rosimannus' ECA candidacy

Keit Pentus-Rosimannus
Keit Pentus-Rosimannus Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The European Parliament has voted in favor of the appointment of former finance minister Keit Pentus-Rosimannus as Estonia's representative at the European Court of Auditors (ECA).

447 MEPs voted in favor, 98 against and there were 87 abstentions.

The vote itself, which took place in Strasbourg Tuesday, is non-binding; the 27-member Council of the European Union must make the final decision on Pentus-Rosimannus' appointment.

The European Parliament's budget control committee had already supported her appointment, with 29 in favor, four against and two abstentions.

The Estonian government had voted in early September in favor of Pentus-Rosimannus' candidacy.

The process had met with controversy over claims of a conflict of interest since the appointment of the new ECA candidate was a matter for the finance ministry; Pentus-Rosimannus herself was finance minister at the time, but did not submit her own candidacy – this was done in summer while she was away at an EU-level meeting in Prague, by Rural Affairs Minister Urmas Kruuse (Reform), deputizing for the finance minister.

Kruuse's deputizing for Pentus-Rosimannus itself is standard practice; ministers deputize for one another during periods of absence, while between early June and mid-July, seven Reform Party ministers held dual ministerial roles following the dismissal of the Center Party from the coalition by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas.

Vice-Chair of the opposition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) Mart Helme submitted a criminal complaint to the prosecutor's office over the matter on October, though this was overruled.

The EU Treaty holds that each member state appoints one representative to the ECA, while their appointment itself is conducted by the Council of the EU, following the consultative European Parliament vote, which has just taken place in Pentus-Rosimannus' case.

The term is for six-years; Pentus-Rosimannus assuming she is a ppointed will replace Juhan Parts (Isamaa), whose term ends on December 31.

The ECA is not a court as such, despite its name.

It monitors the usage of EU funds, and is one of the seven core EU institutions.

Former President Kersti Kaljulaid had held the post immediately prior to becoming head of state.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte, Mait Ots

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