The Estonian and Romanian premiers both objected strongly to Jean-Claude Juncker’s plan not to appoint new persons for the posts of the EU Commissioners of the two member states until the end of the European Commission’s mandate in November. Former Estonian EU Commissioner Andrus Ansip and his Romanian counterpart, Corina Cretu won seats in the European Parliamentary elections in May, thus they are leaving the European Commission’s 28-strong governing body, V4NA reports.
It is the member states concerned that have the right to nominate new candidates for the vacant positions. Juncker, on the other hand, tried to make the leaders of the two member states accept the temporary termination of the two positions, the British news portal Express reported.
In the European Council, which groups together the leaders of the member states, Juncker tried to argue that he could save European taxpayers two million euros with this step. However, Romanian Prime Minister Viorica Dancila and her Estonian counterpart, Juri Ratas both opposed the idea vehemently. Both leaders expressed their disagreement in a letter to Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency in the next six months.
The Romanian premier recommended ex-MEP and former Defence Minister Ioan Mircea Pascu as the temporary EU Commissioner of Romania, while the Estonian head of government indicated that Kadri Simson should be his country’s next member of the European Commission for the temporary period until the end of October.
At the same time, both PMs urged the European Council to “launch the necessary procedures for the nomination at the earliest opportunity”.