This summer will coincidentally see an unusually high number of changes to the assignments of Estonian ambassadors — in 12 countries in total between May and the end of summer. See below for an overview of who will be leaving what post and who will be replacing them.
"It has come to be the case that there are years where more ambassadors are switched out, and years where fewer are, as they all rotate more or less equally on a three- or four-year basis," explained Secretary General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rainer Saks. For the same reason, an equally extensive change in lineup can be expected next year as well.
Summer is the most convenient time for these moves to take place, as many employees are on holiday and school is out for the summer as well. The extent of this summer's changes, however, was affected by last year's Estonian presidency of the Council of the EU, due to which a number of ambassadorial assignment changes were delayed where possible.
With the exception of a few isolated cases in which serving diplomats themselves resigned, the majority of the changes taking place this summer are scheduled. The future Estonian ambassador to Portugal should also be announced next week.
While the shifting of ambassadors has no bearing on Estonia's foreign policy, the unusually high number of changes at once nonetheless means an increased administrative burden on the state.
Unlike regular diplomats, the replacement of an Estonian ambassador involves the Ministry of Foreign Affairs submitting a candidate to the Estonian government for approval, which must in turn submit the candidate for approval to the President of the Republic, who ultimately appoints the candidate as ambassador.
Editor: Aili Vahtla