Kaja Kallas
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Kaja Kallas

Kaja Kallas
Kaja Kallas (crop).jpg
Kallas in 2021
19th Prime Minister of Estonia

26 January 2021
PresidentKersti Kaljulaid
Jüri Ratas
Leader of the Reform Party

14 April 2018
Hanno Pevkur
Member of the Riigikogu

3 March 2019
ConstituencyHarju-Rapla

6 March 2011 - 1 July 2014
ConstituencyHarju-Rapla
Member of the European Parliament
for Estonia

1 July 2014 - 5 September 2018
Personal details
Born (1977-06-18) 18 June 1977 (age 44)
Tallinn, Estonia
Political partyReform Party
Spouse(s)
(m. 2002; div. 2014)

Arvo Hallik
(m. 2018)
Children3
ParentsSiim Kallas
Kristi Kallas
EducationUniversity of Tartu (BA)
Estonian Business School (MBA)
WebsiteOfficial website

Kaja Kallas (Estonian: ['k?j? 'k?l:?s]; born 18 June 1977) is an Estonian politician and the prime minister of Estonia since 26 January 2021. She has been the leader of the Reform Party since 2018, and a member of Riigikogu since 2019, and previously from 2011 to 2014. Kallas served as a member of the European Parliament from 2014 to 2018, representing the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. Before her election to parliament, she was an attorney specializing in European and Estonian competition law.

Early life and education

Born in Tallinn on 18 June 1977,[1] Kaja Kallas is the daughter of Siim Kallas, who was 14th Prime Minister of Estonia and later a European Commissioner.[2] During the Soviet deportations from Estonia, her mother Kristi, six months old at the time, was deported to Siberia with her mother and grandmother in a cattle car and lived there until she was ten years old.[3] Kallas's great-grandfather was Eduard Alver, one of the founders of the Republic of Estonia on 24 February 1918, and the first chief of the Estonian Police from 1918 to 24 May 1919.[3] Kallas's ancestry is partly Latvian and Baltic German, through her father's side of the family.[4][5]

Kallas graduated from the University of Tartu in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in law. She lived in France and Finland briefly while training in European law.[6] From 2007, she attended the Estonian Business School, earning an EMBA (Executive Master of Business Administration) in economics in 2010.[7][8]

Professional career

Kallas became a member of the Estonian Bar Association in 1999 and an attorney-at-law in 2002. She became a partner in law firm Luiga Mody Hääl Borenius and Tark & Co and worked as an executive coach in the Estonian Business School. She is also a member of the European Antitrust Alliance. In 2011, she was placed on inactive status as a member of the Estonian Bar Association.[9] In November 2018, Kallas published her memoir MEP: 4 aastat Euroopa Parlamendis (MEP: Four Years in the European Parliament), in which she describes her life and work in Brussels from 2014 to 2018.[10]

Political career

Member of the Estonian Parliament (2011-2014)

In 2010, Kallas decided to join the Estonian Reform Party. She ran for the Parliament of Estonia (Riigikogu) in 2011 for the Harju County and Rapla County constituency, receiving 7,157 votes. She was a member of the 12th Parliament of Estonia and chaired the Economic Affairs Committee from 2011 to 2014.[9]

Member of the European Parliament (2014-2018)

In the 2014 elections, Kallas ran for the European Parliament and received 21,498 votes.[9] In the European Parliament, Kallas served on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and was a substitute for the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. She was a vice-chair of the Delegation to the EU-Ukraine Parliamentary Cooperation Committee as well as a member of the Delegation to the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and Delegation for relations with the United States.[1]

In addition to her committee assignments, Kallas was a member of the European Parliament Intergroup on the Digital Agenda [11] and a vice-chair of the Youth Intergroup.[12]

During her period in the Parliament, Kallas worked on the Digital Single Market strategy, energy, and consumer policies, and relations with Ukraine. In particular, she defended the rights of small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), maintaining that borders in the digital world hinder the emergence of innovative companies. She is a proponent of innovation and frequently emphasizes that regulations cannot and must not hinder the technological revolution.[1]

Kallas served as rapporteur for six reports: opinion on the so-called e-Privacy regulation,[13] Civil law rules on robotics[14] and on the Annual report on EU Competition Policy,[15] and on Delivering a New Deal for Energy Consumers,[16] legislation on Custom infringements and sanctions[17] and the own-initiative report on the Digital Single Market.[18]

During her time in the Parliament, she was also nominated as a European Young Leader (EYL40).[19] At the end of her term, she was cited by Politico as one of the 40 most influential MEPs, and one of the most powerful women in Brussels, who was highlighted for her understanding of technological issues.[20][21][22]

Return to national politics

On 13 December 2017, the leader of the Reform Party Hanno Pevkur announced that he would no longer run for party leadership in January 2018, and suggested that Kallas should run instead.[23] After considering the offer, Kallas announced on 15 December 2017 that she would accept the invitation to run in the leadership election.[24] Kallas won the leadership election held on 14 April 2018 and became the first female leader of a major political party in Estonia.[25]

On 3 March 2019, the Reform Party, led by Kallas, won the general election with about 29% of the vote, with the ruling Estonian Centre Party taking 23%.[26] However, the Centre Party managed to form a right-wing coalition with the conservative Isamaa party and the far-right EKRE, leaving the Reform party out of power.[27]

On 14 November 2020 Kallas was re-elected as leader of the Reform party at a Reform Party Assembly.[28]

Prime Minister of Estonia

On 25 January 2021, after the resignation of Jüri Ratas as prime minister following a scandal, Kallas formed a Reform-led coalition government with the Centre Party,[29] making her the first female prime minister in Estonia's history.[30]

On 15 March 2021, and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Estonia, she announced that she had tested positive for the COVID-19, having only a slight fever.[31]

Other activities

Source:[36]

Personal life

In 2002, Kallas married Taavi Veskimägi, an Estonian politician and businessman who served as finance minister. They divorced in 2014, and have one son. In 2018, she married Arvo Hallik, a banker and investor. He has two children from a previous relationship.[22][37][38][39]

Apart from her native Estonian, Kallas is fluent in English, Russian, and French.[40]

On 15 March 2021, and during the COVID-19 pandemic in Estonia, she announced that she had tested positive for the COVID-19, having only a slight fever.[41]

References

  1. ^ a b c "8th parliamentary term, European Parliament". europarl.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ Dobush, Grace (4 March 2019). "Digital Savvy Estonia Is Set to Get Its First Female Prime Minister". Fortune. Archived from the original on 8 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ a b Even further from Russia: what is known about the new head of the Estonian government, Europeeska Pravda, 26 January 2021
  4. ^ Lääne Elu. Siim Kallas: eliidi raputamine on õige eesmärk. (in Estonian). Retrieved 2 February 2021.
  5. ^ Eesti Ekspress. Siim Kallas: "'Minu vanaema oli lätlane? Väga huvitav!"'. (in Estonian). Retrieved 3 February 2021.
  6. ^ Tambur, Silver (21 May 2014). "Estonian candidates for the European Parliament: Kaja Kallas (Reform Party)". Estonian World. Retrieved 2021.
  7. ^ "Kaja Kallas". Retrieved 2019.
  8. ^ Deloy, Corinne (3 March 2019). "Victory for the centre-right opposition (ER) in the general elections in Estonia" (PDF). The Foundation Robert Schuman. Archived (PDF) from the original on 7 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  9. ^ a b c "Biography". Kaja Kallase. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016.
  10. ^ "MEP. 4 aastat Euroopa Parlamendis" (in Estonian). Goodreads. Archived from the original on 3 January 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  11. ^ "Members - DAI". digitalagendaintergroup.eu. Archived from the original on 8 January 2016.
  12. ^ "European Youth Forum". youthforum.org. Archived from the original on 4 May 2016. Retrieved 2016.
  13. ^ Kallas, Kaja (4 October 2017). "Opinion on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the respect for private life and the protection of personal data in electronic communications and repealing Directive 2002/58/EC (Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications)". For the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs. Committee on Industry, Research and Energy. Archived from the original on 23 October 2018. Retrieved 2019.
  14. ^ "Procedure File: 2015/2103 (INL); Legislative Observatory; European Parliament". oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  15. ^ "Procedure File: 2014/2158 (INI); Legislative Observatory; European Parliament". oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  16. ^ "Opinion of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection for the Committee on Industry, Research and Energyon Delivering a New Deal for Energy Consumers". European Parliament. 12 April 2016. Archived from the original on 16 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Procedure File: 2013/0432 (COD); Legislative Observatory; European Parliament". oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  18. ^ "Procedure File: 2015/2147 (INI); Legislative Observatory; European Parliament". oeil.secure.europarl.europa.eu. Archived from the original on 6 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  19. ^ "European Young Leaders (EYL40) programme - Call for Nominations for the Class of 2018". Erasmus Mundus Association.
  20. ^ Hankewitz, Sten (14 April 2019). "Politico lists Estonia's Kaja Kallas as one of the most influential MEPs". Estonian World. Retrieved 2021.
  21. ^ Hankewitz, Sten (10 November 2017). "Estonian MEP Kaja Kallas named as one of the most powerful women in Brussels". Estonian World. Retrieved 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Estland bekommt erstmals eine Regierungschefin". tagesschau.de.
  23. ^ "Pevkur not to run for Reform lead again, Kallas not announcing yet". ERR. 13 December 2017. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  24. ^ "Kaja Kallas to run for Reform Party chair". ERR. 15 December 2017. Archived from the original on 23 December 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  25. ^ "Estonia's struggling Reform Party picks first female leader". Sydney Morning Herald. 15 April 2018. Retrieved 2021.
  26. ^ "Estonia general election: Opposition party beats Centre rivals". BBC News. 5 March 2019. Archived from the original on 4 March 2019. Retrieved 2019.
  27. ^ Virki, Tarmo (6 April 2019). "Three Estonian parties, including far-right EKRE, agree on coalition plan". Reuters. Retrieved 2021.
  28. ^ "Kaja Kallas re-elected leader of Reform Party in Estonia". Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe. 16 November 2020. Retrieved 2021.
  29. ^ "Kaja Kallas to become Estonia's first female prime minister". Euronews. 24 January 2021. Retrieved 2021.
  30. ^ Hankewitz, Sten (26 January 2021). "Estonia becomes the only country in the world led by women". Estonian World. Retrieved 2021.
  31. ^ "Estonian prime minister tests positive for coronavirus". Politico Europe. 15 March 2021.
  32. ^ Friends of Europe appoints 29 new members to its Board of Trustees Archived 27 September 2020 at the Wayback Machine Friends of Europe, a press release of 25 June 2020
  33. ^ "The ECFR Council". ecfr.eu. Retrieved 2021.
  34. ^ "Advisory Board Members". Women Economic Forum. Retrieved 2021.
  35. ^ "Model European Union Tallinn". facebook.com. Retrieved 2021.
  36. ^ "Organisatsioonid". Kaja Kallas. Retrieved 2021.
  37. ^ "Kaua hoitud saladus: Kaja Kallas on kihlatud investeerimispankuriga". Elu24 (in Estonian). 10 January 2018. Retrieved 2021.
  38. ^ "EESTI EKSPRESSI SUUR LUGU | Kaja Kallast ootab ees jaht peaministri kohale, võlgades Reformierakonna päästmine ja abiellumine". Eesti Ekspress. Retrieved 2021.
  39. ^ "Kaja Kallas". valitsus.ee. Retrieved 2021.
  40. ^ Blenker, Christian (25 January 2021). "Endlich Regierungschefin". tagesschau.de (in German). Retrieved 2021.
  41. ^ "Estonian prime minister tests positive for coronavirus". Politico Europe. 15 March 2021.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by
Hanno Pevkur
Leader of the Reform Party
2018-present
Incumbent
Political offices
Preceded by
Jüri Ratas
Prime Minister of Estonia
2021-present
Incumbent

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