Mrs Vike-Freiberga, 71, the former Latvian President and the Baltic state’s first post-Communist leader after independence from the Soviet Union, attacked the EU for operating in “darkness and behind closed doors”.
“The European Union should stop working like the former Soviet Union,” she said.
She is the only person to have openly declared herself as in the running to become EU President, a job created by the Lisbon Treaty.
European leaders will choose both a President and EU foreign minister over a summit dinner in Brussels Thursday but the list of up to 12 candidates for each post is a closely guarded diplomatic secret.
Herman Van Rompuy, the Belgian prime minister, is thought to be the current favourite for president. He has French and German support but has not publicly declared himself to be in the contest.
Other names in the ring are Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister, and Jan Peter Balkenende, the current Dutch leader. Neither man has openly put himself forward as a candidate.
David Miliband, an undeclared candidate for the post of EU foreign minister until he pulled out on Wednesday, compared media efforts to work out the EU appointment process as akin to “Kremlinology”.
Kremlinology was the name given to Cold War era attempts to understand the inner workings of a secretive and totalitarian Soviet government.
The lack of public, democratic campaigning during Soviet leadership battles left Western observers trying to divine internal political dynamics from apparent trivia such as seating orders at official banquets and the removal of portraits.
“Trying to work out who is going to be President of the EU Council is not dissimilar to decoding who was in or out in the Kremlin in the 1970s. It seems strange to many of us that 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall we have to dust off our Kremlinology skills here in Brussels,” said an Eastern European diplomat.
Frederik Reinfeldt, the Swedish prime minister and current holder of the EU’s rotating presidency, is overseeing the secretive job selection. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he denied that there was any comparison to the Soviet Union.
“I think it is a wrong comparison to use the word Kremlinologist because the Communist oppression was nowhere near what we are trying to achieve with democracy in Europe,” he said.
Mrs Vike-Freiberga, who speaks English, French, German and Spanish in addition to Latvian, steered Latvia into the EU and Nato in 2004 and served as president for two consecutive terms between 1999 and 2007.
Known as the Latvian “Iron Lady” for her support of the Iraq war and military intervention in Afghanistan, she is not a member of a political party but is regarded as from the centre-right.