Welcome for new EU appointees

Take note – story published 9 years and 8 months ago

Latvian officials welcomed the appointment of new senior figures within the structure of the European Union on September 30 but will have to wait another week to see if former Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis gets a new job.

At a meeting in Brussels EU heads of state agreed on the appointment of Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as President of the European Council and of Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the next High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

Tusk replaces former Herman van Rompuy, Mogherini will succeed Baroness Catherine Ashton.

Tusk's appointment was enthusiastically welcomed by Latvian officials while less attention was given to Mogherini given concerns that she may be too pro-Putin for Baltic tastes.

Dombrovskis - who was tipped in some quarters as a possible last-minute alternative to Tusk - told Latvian Radio on Monday: "Mr Tusk is a very good choice, including for Latvia. He is from Eastern Europe and well understands the Baltic concerns over Russia."

On his own likely future role as a European Commissioner, Dombrovskis said: "This week there will be consultations on this issue and next week we could see the result."

He re-stated his hope that he could be awarded a portfolio with economic or financial responsibilities.

As the division of jobs was announced, Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma tweeted:

Both appointments represent an advance in at least one sense as both are current high-grade politicians rather than "former" something-or-others.

Mogherini has been Italian Foreign Minister since February 2014, while Tusk has been Polish Prime Minister since 2007 and is the only holder of the post to win two back-to-back terms.

When appointed in 2009 van Rompuy had just finished a term of less than one year as Belgian Prime Minister while Baroness Ashton got her job without ever having won an election at the ballot box.

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