European Commission Vice President Andrus Ansip handed in his resignation to take up the European Parliament seat he won in last month’s election, he announced Monday.
“It has been an honour to serve Europe as part of Team Juncker and I’m grateful for this opportunity,” Ansip wrote in his resignation letter to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, dated June 14.
He added: “I am very pleased that we were together able to build the Digital Single Market, which has been undoubtedly one of the successes of your Commission.”
Ansip will remain in the Commission until the end of this month.
The Estonian politician had hinted he would take up his MEP seat that he won in late May. His party, the Reform Party, is a member of Renew Europe, formerly known as the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe.
“I hope to continue to work for the benefit of all Europeans in my new capacity,” he wrote in his letter.
Ansip had little chance of being nominated by the Estonian government to sit on the new Commission as his party is not part of the ruling coalition.
Tallinn has already announced Kadri Simson as Ansip’s potential successor for the 2019-2024 Commission mandate. Simson’s nomination was approved by the government earlier this month and the former minister of economic affairs and infrastructure could also replace Ansip in the interim period before the new Commission takes office in the fall.
Mariya Gabriel, Ansip’s Commission colleague in the digital portfolio, recently said she would remain a commissioner until November, despite also winning a seat in the May European election.
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