Kadri Simson offered possible European Commission economy-related role

Ursula von der Leyen and Kadri Simson, Aug. 7, 2019.
Ursula von der Leyen and Kadri Simson, Aug. 7, 2019. Source: Twitter/Kadri Simson

Incoming European Commissioner from Estonia Kadri Simson (Centre) met new commission president Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday, and was offered a potential portfolio. While Simson was unable to disclose the exact title of the portfolio, she said it was in an area related to economics.

"I was offered a specific portfolio and I can say that this was an economic portfolio," Samson told ERR's online news in Estonian after the von der Leyen meeting.

However, Simson stressed that he could not say anything more specific about her area of ​​portfolio yet, as von der Leyen has yet announce the new commissioner lineup. As things stand this is likely to happen early in September.

"Unfortunately, we agreed that the contents of this portfolio must remain strictly confidential until the incoming president ,Ursula von der Leyen, herself publicly discloses the entire commission distribution," Simson told ERR.

Simson previously told ERR that she would like to cover some of the areas she oversaw during Estonia's stint as president of the Council of the European Union in the second half of 2017. Simson was Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure at the time, and the areas of interest to her are economic development, entrepreneurship and industry, with energy in second place and transport in third, ERR says.

The new commission lineup will follow the broad structure of its predecessor under Jean-Claude Juncker, whereby vice-presidents allocated portfolios to several commissioners, Simson said, adding that she could not comment on who these vice-presidents would be, at this stage.

As to her impressions of her meeting with the incoming commission president – the pair met for the first time in early August – Simson said these had been cordial and encouraging.

"I'd venture to say I have a very good working relationship with the incoming president. This is a person who knows how to motivate teammates," she sa

Von der Leyen also gave practical advice on how to prepare for the forthcoming sessions at the European Parliament and which support structures to ask for guidance from.

While Simson is remaining tight-lipped about her portfolio, the fact that the Polish commissioner-designate had been offered the agriculture portfolio has been leaked to the media.

Estonia's last commissioner, Andrus Ansip (Reform), now an MEP, held the digital single market portfolio.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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