Estonian MEP Paet says key ministerial posts in new govt to be filled with euroskeptics

  • 2019-04-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - Estonian MEP and former foreign minister Urmas Paet said that Estonia's key positions in the European Union and the European Commission will be filled with euroskeptical ministers from the Estonian Conservative People's Party (EKRE). 

When it comes to the government soon to be formed among the Center Party, EKRE and Isamaa, the fact that has been given less attention to is that the ministries that are tasked with communicating most with the other member states of the European Union and the European Commission will be led by euroskeptical ministers from EKRE, some of whom lack political experience, Paet told BNS. 

"In the near future, negotiations on the EU's financial framework for 2021-2027 will kick off, which will also have a direct effect on Estonia. The key role in this will be held by the future minister of finance, who unfortunately holds in low regard the prognoses by Estonia's own Ministry of Finance, but also by the minister of agriculture and the minister of the environment," Paet said, adding that the minister of the interior, too would have to work in close cooperation with his EU counterparts.

"The same obviously goes for the minister of foreign trade as the free trade agreements, for instance, fall under the shared competence of the European Union," Paet noted. "Thus, the Center Party and Isamaa have largely entrusted EKRE with the cooperation between Estonia and the rest of the EU as well as the negotiations regarding Estonia's part in the future budget of the EU."

"The responsibility is therefore notable and missteps can also prove financially costly for Estonia," Paet said. "In any case, the importance of daily cooperation and communication with the other EU members and the European Commission must not be underestimated. For a start, however, the future minister of finance would do well to take seriously the work and competence of the Ministry of Finance," he added.