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Taavi Rõivas shares and supports Andrus Ansip Europe ambitions

Taavi Rõivas.
Taavi Rõivas. Source: Anna Aurelia Minev/ERR

Former prime minister Taavi Rõivas (Reform) has announced he may run in the 2019 European elections.

"It is highly likely that I will run in the next European parliamentary elections; I believe that order for a small country to be heard on the European stage, we need to send as strong a representation as possible to Brussels," Mr. Rõivas told ERR on Thursday.

"There aren't very many Estonian leaders who are a known quantity in Europe, and I believe that I have the necessary experience and network of contacts to represent Estonia well," he added.

Mr. Rõivas' predecessor as Reform Party prime minister, Andrus Ansip, also says he may stand, but may equally continue as a European Commissioner. Mr. Ansip, prime minister 2005-2014, is  current European Commissioner for the Digital Single Market as well as Vice President of the European Commission.

Not stepping on each other's toes

Nevertheless Mr. Rõivas would not hinder Mr. Ansip's candidacy for the European Parliament it seems.

''Andrus Ansip, is, like me, a familiar face within the EU who has done his job as a commissioner very well," he said, adding he would also support Mr. Ansip continuing as a commissioner.

Andrus Ansip. Autor: REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/SCANPIX

Domestic and European elections close together

Two of Estonia's six MEPs are from the Reform Party, currently Urmas Paet, and Kaja Kallas. Reform can run 14 candidates on its list for Europe, said Mr. Rõivas.

Estonian politicians often simultaneously get elected to both Brussels and the Riigikogu as the elections are close together, but must choose one or other. Kaja Kallas has returned to Tallinn having been elected Reform leader in summer.

Moving in the opposite direction is current MEP Indrek Tarand (independent) who is to run for the Social Democratic Party in the domestic elections.

The Riigikogu elections are on 3 March, and the European elections probably 23-26 May, 2019.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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