“[President of France Emmanuel] Macron is definitely one of the big winners of the current result,” commented Kristi Raik, Director of the Estonian Foreign Policy Institute/ICDS, the nomination of the new leaders of the European Union on Kuku radio’s programme “Välismääraja”.
“He did not want to use the system of top candidate (Spitzenkanditat), but rather to seek agreements between the leaders of the member states that would reflect the complex balance of different political forces and geographical and other factors that they have sought to find,” Raik explained.
In addition, according to Raik, it is remarkable that Ursula von der Leyen is a pretty good candidate for President of the European Commission for both Visegrad and the Baltic states: “She is certainly a strong Europeanist on the one hand. In this sense, it is even surprising that the Visegrád countries were so keen on her. It is believed that on a number of issues concerning the further development of the European Union, she is quite close to France’s vision of strengthening the Union. She is also likely to be critical of the rule of law problems in Poland and Hungary. /…/ On the other hand, it is in the interests of our region that she is not only pro-European but also a strong supporter of transatlantic relations.”
Raik also commented on the impact of Brexit on the selection of new leaders of the European Union and the candidate for High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
In addition to Raik, Urmas Paet, Member of the European Parliament, commented on the selection of new leaders of the European Union and their impact on Estonia. The programme was hosted by Erkki Bahovski, Editor-in-Chief of Diplomaatia magazine of ICDS.
Listen to the full programme in Estonian, broadcasted on Kuku radio on 7 July.