The Estonian government decided in a phone session on Monday that it did not consider it necessary to fill the post of Estonian commissioner in the outgoing European Commission. Kadri Simson (Centre) is Estonia's candidate for the next European Commission, to be led by Ursula von der Leyen.
Estonia will receive a substantial portfolio in the next European Commission, and thus Simson will need to be able to focus on preparations for her new role, Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (Centre) said in a government press release.
"In June, it was likely that the new Commission might not take office within the prescribed time frame; at the time, we proposed that the Estonian candidate also be nominated to the current Commission," Ratas explained. "It is clear by now that the new Commission will most likely take office in due course. The European Parliament's schedule also failed to allow the hearing of Kadri Simson this summer. As a result, her appointment to the current Commission has been delayed, and it is more reasonable to use the remaining time to prepare for her work in the new Commission."
The prime minister sent a letter to Finland, the current holder of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, informing them of the Estonian government's decision as well as expressing Estonia's agreement that the number of commissioners in the current European Commission, headed by Jean-Claude Juncker, is smaller than the number of member states.
Future portfolio to be revealed Tuesday
Ursula von der Leyen, the next candidate for president of the European Commission, intends to disclose the composition and structure of the new Commission on Tuesday, at which time the portfolio of the Estonian commissioner-designate will be revealed as well.
Once the composition of the incoming Commission is known, it will be assessed by the European Parliament and approved as a single list this month. The European Commission will then be appointed by the European Council.
Simson has extensive experience working with the European Commission and other EU institutions, the government noted. As Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure, she managed the areas of the internal market, energy and transportation in the Council of the EU.
Editor: Aili Vahtla