The government is planning to make Kadri Simson (Centre) its candidate for EU commissioner despite objections by EU Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker. Juncker said earlier this month that appointing commissioners for just a number of months doesn't make sense.
"Estonia is of the opinion that all member states need to be represented equally in the European Commission," government press spokeswoman, Mariann Sudakov, told ERR.
"The government as well as the Riigikogu have approved Kadri Simson's candidacy for the next European Commission as well as for the replacement of Andrus Ansip after he leaves to join the European Parliament," Sudakov added.
Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) has informed Juncker about Estonia's wish to send the candidate to Brussels to replace Ansip in the current Commission line-up as well as its candidate after that, she said.
Ansip's term officially ends on June 30, after which Simson's candidacy will be submitted to replace him for the next term of the Commission.
Juncker said in an interview with German paper "Bild" on June 2 this year that he would prefer member states didn't send replacement commissioners before the start of the next term proper. The reason for this opinion, Juncker said, is that taking on replacements is extremely expensive, and that the people coming in for just a few months hardly have the time they would need to familiarize with their field.
Juncker has also said that he likely won't assign the replacement EU Commission members to any specific portfolio for the same reason.
The EU's heads of government have since disagreed with Juncker. Outgoing EU commissioner and Commission vice president, Andrus Ansip, also thinks that in Simson's case, she would hardly be going to Brussels for just a few months.
"I think Kadri Simson wouldn't be a temporarily appointed commissioner, she wouldn't be going for just four months, but for the next five years," Ansip said. He also doesn't see how temporary appointments would mean greater expenses for the Commission, as salaries and pension contributions wouldn't be paid to two officials at once.
Ansip has also said that he thinks Simson will make a "good commissioner."
Editor: Dario Cavegn