Estonian candidate for European Commissioner Kadri Simson (Centre) is considered one of five candidates for the position of Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Union, alongside politicians from Romania, Poland, Lithuania and Slovenia.
Romanian news portal Hotnews.ro (link in Romanian) reported that according to a document they have seen, it is these countries that have shown an interest in this particular portfolio.
Simson would be up against Polish candidate for European Commissioner Krzysztof Szczerski, Slovenian candidate Janez Lenarči, Romanian Luminiţa Odobescu and, from Lithuania, either Virginijus Sinkevičius, Linas Linkevičius or Saulius Skvernelis.
According to the portal, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă has said in Brussels that her country may also be interested in the fields of transport or the environment.
Odobescu is currently serving as Permanent Representative of Romania to the EU. A career diplomat, she has also served as adviser to the prime minister on EU and foreign policy.
Unlike Estonia, Romania nominated two different candidates for European Commissioner to the current European Commission whose term ends on Oct. 31 and the next Commission. The European Parliament did not manage to confirm Simson or Romanian candidate Ioan Mircea Pașcu before the beginning of its summer recess; the next opportunity to so will be in mid-September. Estonia and Romania both nominated new candidates for commissioner after previous Commissioners Corina Crețu and Andrus Ansip (Reform/Renew Europe) were elected to the European Parliament in May.
Simson: We stood out in energy sector during EU presidency
Simson told ERR on Tuesday that her previous work experience provides essential foundations for involvement in the energy, economic or transport fields, but added that it is the President of the European Commission who will assign specific areas of responsibility, taking into account the distribution of roles among all candidates for commissioner.
She noted that Ursula von der Leyen, the next Commission president, should begin meeting with candidates for commissioner after all 26 candidates have been named.
While serving as minister of economic affairs and infrastructure in Jüri Ratas' previous government, Simson was responsible for the fields of the internal market, transport and energy, she highlighted.
"During Estonia's presidency [of the Council of the EU], it was in the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council (TTE) in particular that significant agreements were concluded under our direction between member states regarding the Clean Energy for All Europeans package, which set longer-term goals for the year 2050," the former minister said. "Agreements were likewise reached regarding the design of the electricity market as well as new goals for buildings' energy efficiency."
"As climate goals played a very significant role in Ursula von der Leyen's speech before the European Parliament, it can be expected that the current energy and climate portfolio will change," she added.
Spain's Miguel Arias Cañete is currently serving as Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action.
Editor: Aili Vahtla