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Politico: Macron supports Estonia’s Kallas to succeed Borrell as top EU diplomat

Estonia’s PM Kaja Kallas emerges as front-runner for EU’s next chief diplomat role, with backing from France’s Macron, Politico says.
politico macron supports estonia's kallas succeed borrell top eu diplomat estonian pm kaja (r) french president emmanuel (l) paris 26 february 2024 president's office kaja-kallas-and-emmanuel-macron-in-paris-on-february-26-2024
Estonian PM Kaja Kallas (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) in Paris on 26 February 2024. Source: French President’s Office.
Politico: Macron supports Estonia’s Kallas to succeed Borrell as top EU diplomat

France’s President Emmanuel Macron is positioning to support Estonia’s Prime Minister Kaja Kallas as the European Union’s next chief diplomat, according to Politico‘s sources.

The high representative of the Union for foreign affairs and security policy, currently held by Spain’s Josep Borrell, chairs meetings of EU foreign, defense and development ministers, representing the bloc at international forums like the G7 and G20. With Borrell set to step down during the upcoming reshuffle of top EU jobs, several officials have their sights on the prestigious position, including Belgium’s Alexander De Croo and Sophie Wilmès, Luxembourg’s Xavier Bettel, Poland’s Radek Sikorski, Ireland’s Micheál Marti, and Estonia’s Kaja Kallas. The centrist Renew group is expected to nominate Borrell’s successor.

Three French officials confirmed to Politico that Macron’s office has been eyeing Kallas, citing a “good understanding” between the two leaders and shared viewpoints, yet the French president is keeping his options open, according to them. A Renew aide described Kallas as a “strong personality” and “strong voice” within the group.

Macron has energetically backed Kallas’ proposal to create a defense industry fund,” the Politico report stated.

Estonian sources also relayed to Politico that Macron gave an early nod to Kallas for the role this year. The two leaders met in Paris recently, with Kallas praising Macron’s speech on Europe’s future as “very, very good.”

However, Kallas’ candidacy is not assured. Some EU members distrust the Baltic nations’ strident rhetoric toward Russia and fear Kallas would neglect other global issues beyond the Russo-Ukrainian war.

“We need someone who talks also about Africa, or South America, and not just about Russia,” a southern European diplomat told Politico.

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