As former Estonian prime minister, Siim Kallas has the most senior-level experience of any new member joining the Commission. That could make him a viable candidate to lead it.
Kallas first entered into the world of politics during the Soviet era. Born on Oct. 2, 1948, in Tallinn, Estonia, Kallas became a member of the Estonian Communist Party in 1972. In 1975, he became a finance specialist in the finance ministry of the then Estonian Socialistic Soviet Republic. In 1990, Kallas left the Communist Party, one year before the Baltic state declared its independence.
Kallas completed his primary and secondary education in Tallin and then graduated with a degree in economics and finance from the University of Tartu. From 1991 to 1995 he served as president of the Bank of Estonia, the country's central bank. In this position, he was authoritatively involved in the consolidation of his country's economy. He championed the successful policy of binding the national currency, the Estonian krone, to the deutsche mark (before it was replaced by the euro).
In 1994, Kallas returned to politics and became deputy prime minister after a year. Six years afterwards, he was elected prime minister. During last year's Estonian elections, Kallas chose to step down as prime minister despite the success of his Reform Party in elections. On April 10, Juhan Parts was named Kallas' successor.