Who is Kaja Kallas, the new face of European Union diplomacy?

Kaja Kallas The Prime Minister of Estonia, one of the Baltic republics bordering Russia, is expected to succeed the Spaniard Josep Borell as High Representative for Security and Foreign Affairs of the European Union.

This choice by the Prime Minister of Estonia, who declares herself a “determined opponent of the Kremlin” is a message to Moscow and gives particular importance to Ukraine, which has become the center of European diplomacy.

Aged 47, Kaja Kallas is a lawyer by profession. She was born into politics since her father, Siim Kallas, was Prime Minister and founded the Liberal Party that she now leads. Her family history was also marked by the Russian occupation. Her mother was deported to Siberia, with her grandmother, just after the Second World War.

Having become the first female head of government of her country in 2021, she distinguished herself internationally for the first time by standing up to Angela Merkel at a European summit where she opposed a meeting with Vladimir Putin. It is therefore a strong, determined, but also convincing personality who will take the lead of European diplomacy.

A member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2018, Kaja Kallas will not be lost in Brussels: “Europe has always been synonymous for me with hope, future, cooperation, unity, making the impossible possible,” she explained in an interview with RFI on May 3.

On the other hand, little is known about the other areas where European diplomacy will have a role: relations with China, with Africa or the conflict in Gaza, with a European Union that is struggling to agree on a clear position. her country, Estonia, which has only 1.3 million inhabitants, has become under her authority proportionally one of the most generous donors for Ukraine, its aid exceeding 1% of its GDP: “If such aggression pays off in Ukraine, it could encourage the same elsewhere. We must completely discredit the tool of aggression,” she declared during an interview with AFP in December 2023.

At the beginning of the year, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Republic of Estonia also signed a contribution agreement, under which Estonia is providing 10 million euros to the EU for Ukraine Fund.

With her, the Mediterranean on which EU diplomacy was centered, since in quick succession, the Italian Federica Mogherini, then the Spaniard Josep Borell presided over European diplomacy, is no longer the strategic zone of the new configuration of the European whole.

This article is originally published on espacemanager.com

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