Andrus Ansip finds Urmas Paet good fit for post of European commissioner

Urmas Paet.
Urmas Paet. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

Former Estonian PM and European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip (Reform) said that MEP Urmas Paet, who has also served as Estonia's foreign minister, would be a good fit for European commissioner. Unlike Paet, MEP Marina Kaljurand (SDE) does not see herself in the role.

"So far, only Urmas Paet has suggested he wouldn't mind becoming commissioner, and I must say I approve – he has served as foreign minister for nine years and done a good job. Paet has also stood out in the European Parliament," Ansip said.

"It is another matter how Estonia will decide who to set up as the next commissioner," the former PM added.

Urmas Paet told Kuku Raadio's "Välismääraja" program that he could work as European commissioner and confirmed as much to ERR on Monday.

Paet said he has spent almost 12 years working as a government minister in Estonia, including almost ten years as foreign minister, as well as having served as MEP for close to nine years, which experience and background suggests serving as European commissioner could be interesting.

He added that the position would allow him to maintain strong links to Estonia and its government, which could also benefit the latter.

Andrus Ansip emphasized that a commissioner benefits from having represented executive power in a Member State, with former prime ministers especially sought after.

Asked which area he could curate in the Commission, Paet pointed to the practice of handing out portfolios once all candidates have been nominated.

"The Commission usually does not tackle the allocation of portfolios until all candidates have been nominated. Looking at my background, there are different aspects of international relations, while that is far from being a dogma," Paet remarked.

MEP Marina Kaljurand, former Estonian foreign minister and diplomat, told ERR on Monday that she is not interested in the posting of a commissioner. "We can say I am not interested in the position. Right now, I have to decide whether to join the Riigikogu or remain in the European Parliament," the Social Democratic Party (SDE) politician said.

The Reform Party, Eesti 200 and SDE have launched coalition talks following the March 5 Riigikogu elections. It is believed the coalition agreement will include Estonia's next European commissioner once its composition changes after the 2024 European Parliament elections. Estonia's Kadri Simson is currently working as the European commissioner for energy.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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