Latvian government decides to repeatedly nominate Dombrovskis for European Commissioner

  • 2024-06-12
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Cabinet of Ministers on Tuesday decided to nominate Valdis Dombrovskis (New Unity), the current Executive Director of the European Commission (EC), for the post of the European Commission (EC) member.

This will be the third time that Dombrovskis has been nominated for the post of European Commissioner. After the 2014 European Parliament (EP) elections, he was nominated and confirmed as EC Vice-President with responsibility for the euro and social dialogue in the Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker. After the 2019 EP elections, Dombrovskis was also appointed to the EC led by Ursula von der Leyen, where he is the Executive Vice-President with responsibility for the economy, as well as EU Trade Commissioner.

With the New Unity also performing well in this year's EP elections, the party decided to nominate Dombrovskis for a third term as the European Commissioner, with the support of the parties forming the coalition.

In Latvia, the right to nominate candidates for the post of Commissioner is vested in the Prime Minister, and this post is currently held by Evika Silina, a member of Dombrovskis' party.

EC members serve a five-year term of office, with the current EC's term of office ending on October 31, 2024.

Silina stressed that the Latvian  has a duty to nominate a Latvian representative for the post of European Commissioner who is knowledgeable, has considerable experience and has the potential to gain the greatest possible influence in the EC. Public support is also a very important factor. In the recent elections, Dombrovskis won the support of the largest number of voters, which, in Silina's view, gives him additional democratic legitimacy. Dombrovskis' promotion is also important for Latvia's influence in the region and in the EU.

"Latvia's representative in the EC has the highest position compared to our neighbors. By nominating Dombrovskis once again, Latvia would strengthen its influence in the region and in the EU as a whole. By nominating our candidate early, we will also have a better chance to negotiate the future composition of the EC and the distribution of responsibilities," said Silina.

Silina called on Dombrovskis to continue fighting for Latvia's security interests. The Baltic countries, as well as Poland and Finland, have agreed on an "iron curtain" in their relations with Russia, the prime minister said, which means that border areas are becoming areas that need "special treatment" and "special security measures".

Defense Minister Andris Spruds (Progressives) expressed his expectations for "the next steps for the defense industry". In the minister's view, regional balance and funding for the defense industry are important.

Transport Minister Kaspars Briskens (Progressives) raised funding for the European Green Deal and more funding for the Rail Baltica project as topical issues. Agriculture Minister Armands Krauze (Greens/Farmers) reminded abut the needs of farmers.

Dombrovskis said that the EU had serious issues to address in the near future, including EU security, economic competitiveness and growth, as well as the EU's multiannual budget after 2027. "Very serious issues will have to be addressed immediately in a very complex international geopolitical and security situation," Dombrovskis said.

The politician confirmed that the Eastern border is "undoubtedly an important issue because the risks are asymmetric". Dombrovskis pointed out that the EC currently has a mechanism in place that one of the factors to be taken into account for defense aid is the extent to which a Member State is exposed to a conventional risk of hostilities. This factor is particularly important for countries bordering with Russia. "This is a criterion that was introduced on my personal initiative, but it is important to have EU support for it," the politician said. Dombrovskis is ready to continue supporting the strengthening of the border.

After 2027, the Green Deal and the completion of Rail Baltica will also remain priorities, as will the Cohesion Policy. The politician also stressed that it is important that new priorities are not implemented at the expense of existing priorities, which is why it is necessary to move towards a higher overall increase in the EU budget, which Dombrovskis is ready to support. "There will be very serious political discussions and we will have to work at all levels - EC, EP and governments. There is a lot to do and I am ready to work in close cooperation with the government," Dombrovskis said.

Dombrovskis graduated from the Faculty of Physics and Mathematics of the University of Latvia (LU) in 1993 with a Bachelor's degree in Physics, and from Riga Technical University in 1995 with a Bachelor's degree in Engineering Economics.

From 1995 to 1996 he studied and worked on the experimental part of his Master's thesis at the Faculty of Physics, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, and in 1996 he obtained a Master's degree in Physics from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. From 1997 to 1998 he studied for his PhD at the Department of Electrical Engineering, University of Maryland.

Dombrovskis entered politics in 2002, becoming one of the founders of the New Era party. He has been a Member of the Latvian Parliament, Minister of Finance, MEP and several times Head of the Latvian Government, stepping down after the Maxima store collapse tragedy in late 2013.

In 2014, Dombrovskis was awarded the Order of the Three Stars, 2nd Class, for services to public service and for his significant personal contribution to Latvia's geopolitical, economic and monetary security and political influence in the EU. Dombrovskis was twice awarded the Order of Yaroslav the Wise by the Ukrainian state for his significant personal contribution to promoting cooperation between Ukraine and the EU, supporting Ukraine's sovereignty, reform and closer integration into the EU.