The Secretary of State has today appointed Klen Jäärats as the Director for European Union Affairs.
Mr Jäärats has worked as Deputy Director for European Union Affairs since 2010. Since 2013, he has been performing the duties of the previous Director for European Union Affairs, Juhan Lepassaar, who is now the Chief of Staff of the cabinet of European Commissioner Andrus Ansip. Klen Jäärats previously worked at the Permanent Representation of Estonia to the EU in Brussels, first as the Attaché for Home Affairs and later as an adviser to the Permanent Representatives of Estonia, Mr Väino Reinart and Mr Raul Mälk.
Mr Jäärats has also worked in the Ministry of the Interior in the fields of accession negotiations and migration policy, and as the head of the refugees department of the Citizenship and Migration Board.
Klen Jäärats received a degree from the Institute of Law and participated in the Newton leadership offspring programme of the Government Office’s Top Civil Service Excellence Centre.
He participated in Estonia’s accession negotiations to the EU and later in the accession negotiations to the Schengen area. Mr Jäärats was directly involved in the negotiations that led to the Lisbon Treaty.
According to Klen Jäärats, the biggest challenge in his new position will be to assist the incoming Government in 2015 in developing and implementing EU policy for 2015–2019 and to ensure the successful Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union in the first half of 2018. “Estonia is a reliable and predictable partner that has always strived to contribute to the future benefit of Europe,” said Jäärats.
In commenting on the Estonian presidency, Jäärats said that the presidency, which takes place in the year of the 100th anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, will be an excellent opportunity to introduce Estonia to the rest of the world and to bring our day-to-day activities in Europe close to people in Estonia. “Despite a whole decade of membership in the EU, the Presidency of the Council of the European Union and the six months of being responsible for the whole of Europe is a major challenge for Estonian officials. We are determined to be successful and enthusiastic leaders,” said Jäärats.
The Director for European Union Affairs advises and supports the Prime Minister on EU affairs and ensures the sustainability and comprehensiveness of the Government’s EU policy. The Director for European Union Affairs is also responsible for leading the work of the Coordination Council for EU affairs and the European Union Secretariat of the Government Office.
The Secretary of State announced the competition for the position of the Director for European Union Affairs on 25 August. A total of six applications were submitted to the public competition organised by the selection committee of top executives. Four applicants reached the final round of the competition.