Kaja Kallas fifth in POLITICO 'Class of 2023' influential Europeans list

Kaja Kallas at a European Commission meeting.
Kaja Kallas at a European Commission meeting. Source: Government Office.

Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) has made the top five list of "doers" in politics news site POLITICO's "Class of 2023" nominees. The list covers 28 influential people in Europe.

Kallas is referred to by POLITICO as "The Cassandra" due to her repeat warnings to the West over the dangers Vladimir Putin's Russia presents, long before the February invasion of Ukraine.

POLITICO's Class of 2023 is this year's annual ranking of those the portal thinks are the most influential figures in Europe.

While the top names per category are to be unveiled on Wednesday evening, along with the "most powerful person in Europe," Kaja Kallas has already been placed at number five on the list of "doers".

Dubbed "the Cassandra",* POLITICO writes of Kallas that: "Few European leaders have been as forceful, articulate and consistent as the Estonian prime minister in laying out the threats posed by the authoritarian in the Kremlin. At a time when Western European countries are rethinking their Russia strategy, the brutal invasion of Ukraine has vindicated Estonia's approach to Moscow."

"Being able to say 'I told you so' has given Kallas greater influence in Brussels, as well as globally," POLITICO adds, stating that Kallas is an "excellent communicator" who "frames European geopolitics in stark, moral terms, applying a pathos more ostensibly powerful leaders like Germany's Olaf Scholz have struggled to imitate."

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was likely thinking of Kallas when she said "We should have listened to those who know Putin," POLITICO goes on.

The article notes that Kallas was calling for sanctions on Russia over human rights violations such as the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexei Navalny, well before Russian invaded Ukraine, and has also been "hawkish" on China.

She has also ensured Estonia is one of the few European NATO members who exceed the minimum 2 percent of GDP per year defense spend, the portal reports.

Ahead of Kallas on the list of "doers" are President of the European Central Bank Christine Lagarde ("The firefighter"), Commander of United States European Command  Christopher Cavoli ("The general") and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan ("The wild card").

The "dreamers" list includes Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon ("The repeat offender") in second place and Russian leader Vladimir Putin ("The loser") in ninth, while President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola is one of the three figures listed on POLITICO's "disrupters" list.

The original POLITICO piece is here, while the portal explains its methodology in compiling the Class of 2023 here.

*In Ancient Greek mythology, Cassandra was priestess from Troy who made true prophecies which were, nonetheless, disbelieved.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

Source: Politico

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