Baltic Commission nominees complete hearings

  • 2010-01-13
  • Oskars Magone

Latvian nominee Andris Piebalgs is looking to stay in the EC after the change this year. (photo courtesy of the EC)

BRUSSELS -- The three nominees for the European Commission from the Baltic States have completed their parliamentary hearings with mixed results.

The nominees with have to win parliamentary approval from the EP in order to take up posts within the new Commission, due later this year to begin its new duties within the framework of the Lisbon Treaty.

Algirdas Semeta, Lithuania’s nominee for the European Commission, performed poorly during the hearing, receiving harsh criticism from MEPs.Semeta was nominated for the taxation and anti-fraud portfolio.

He was accused by socialist MEPs of giving unconvincing and inadequate answers on issues relating to tax havens, management of European Union funds and the anti-fraud squad.

The Estonian candidate, Siim Kallas, discussed his country's readiness to adopt the euro during his EP hearing.

"Estonia is rather close, but we will have to ensure that all the rules are respected, that the (EU) treaty is respected, and we will return to this matter in the coming spring," Kallas said.

Latvian candidate Andris Piebalgs, who has acted as the energy commissioner since 2004, performed admirably in his EP hearing to rejoin the Commission this year.

Piebalgs told national news agency LETA that he thought the MEPs seemed positive minded during the questioning.