Simson to meet with von der Leyen, not discussing portfolios

Kadri Simson (Centre).
Kadri Simson (Centre). Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

Estonia's candidate for EU commissioner, Kadri Simson (Centre), is meeting designated president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, on Tuesday next week. According to Simson, the meeting will be short, and portfolios won't be discussed.

Simson told ERR on Friday that any broader talk about the incoming commissioners' subject areas will have to wait until all of them have been appointed.

She added that her upcoming meeting with von der Leyen will be the first, as she's seen the outgoing German defence minister speak at the Lennart Meri Conference in Tallinn, but never actually met her.

"This first meeting is very important. I've been told that the meeting will look into my strengths, what I'm interested in, and what I can bring to the table where the work of the incoming commission is concerned," Simson said.

Simson's situation is more complicated than that of other appointees, as she is a candidate for the outgoing as well as the incoming commission. Recent stalling manoeuvres in Brussels will delay things long enough to leave Estonia without a representative on the European Commission over the summer, as Andrus Ansip (Reform) has already stepped down to join the European Parliament instead, to which he was elected in May.

Commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to be replaced by Ursula von der Leyen in the fall, has expressed his disapproval of temporary candidates and not assigned a portfolio to Simson as well as the Romanian candidate. Meanwhile, talk in Brussels has been that Simson might be considered a candidate for the EU's commissioner for climate action and energy union.

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Editor: Dario Cavegn

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