Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen could become the next NATO secretary general, while Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas (Reform) is also considered, Politico wrote on Thursday.
Mette Frederiksen, the Danish prime minister, has emerged as a likely candidate for NATO leadership, Politico writes; this opinion is sparked by Fredriksen's offer to attend the White House.
As all previous NATO chiefs have been male, there is considerable pressure to find a female leader this time. Moreover, Denmark is regarded as a "middle-ground country" and "a strong Ukraine supporter that is nevertheless less hawkish than some eastern flank countries," Politico explains why the Danish prime minister meets expectations.
However, Frederiksen comes from a nation that recently held the position; former Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, served as NATO's secretary general from 2009 to 2014. Politico writes that not everyone agrees with limiting the candidate pool to the Nordic region.
Estonian Prime Minister Kallas is often mentioned as a contender as well.
"If we are looking for a woman, why not Kallas?" Politico cites a top official from Central Europe, adding, however, that "some Western allies are wary of selecting a leader perceived as too hawkish while war is raging on the continent."
According to another diplomat from Eastern Europe, allies in the east are wondering as to whether a candidate from the region will ever be elected to the NATO leadership. "The brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine proved many of them are reliable and capable," they said.
Former Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg has served as NATO secretary general since October 1, 2014. His predecessors were former Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen (2009-2014), former Dutch Foreign Minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (2004-2009), in December 2003, Alessandro Minuto-Rizzo, an Italian, took over as acting leader, preceded by former British Defense Minister George Robertson (1999-2003).
Editor: Kristina Kersa