Sunday

30th Apr 2017

Dutch finance minister mooted for Eurogroup post

  • Jeroen Dijsselbloem may become the next Mr Euro (Photo: Partij van de Arbeid/Willem Pekel)

Little over a month in office, Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem may become the next Eurogroup chief to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker, as the more experienced French and German finance ministers block each other out.

A German government spokesman on Monday (17 December) did not deny reports in German media that Dijsselbloem's name was floated by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels last week.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"This was not on the official agenda. It is possible that such talks were held on corridors," Steffen Seibert said during a press conference. He added the appointment is a matter for finance ministers to decide among their own and that there is still time next month, as Juncker has indicated he would step down early next year.

A senior EU official also told this website that consultations will "really" take place only in January.

"We'll see then [about Dijsselbloem]," the source added.

If he stays in the race by then, Dijsselbloem, a Social-Democrat who was appointed finance minister in early November, may be more palatable to France than Germany's hawkish minister Wolfgang Schaeuble. The German minister was considered a frontrunner in June, but his bid was blocked by the newly elected Socialist administration in Paris, as Francois Hollande had won the presidency on an anti-austerity ticket.

In the end, Juncker agreed to stay on for six more months to give more time to find a successor.

According to his official CV, the 46-year old Dutchman has studied agro-economics and has held party and government positions in the fields of agriculture, environment and education.

For his part, French finance minister Pierre Moscovici, himself mooted as possible candidate, on Monday said there was "no agreement" yet on the Juncker successor.

Meanwhile, a rumoured Franco-German deal for Moscovici to take over the first mandate followed by a German finance minister, whomever he may be after general elections in September, has not materialised.

After blocking Schaeuble in the summer, Paris cannot count on Berlin to support its minister. Smaller countries also feel uneasy about Eurogroup chiefs from the two largest economies in the euro area.

Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen, whose name was also on the table earlier this year when there was a first attempt to find a successor for Juncker, told journalists on Thursday in the margins of the EU summit that Dijsselbloem's name was "mentioned" and that in his opinion, the Dutchman is "a good man" who would defend the interests of northern countries.

Asked about it on Friday in the Hague, Dijsselbloem told Dutch media he would "think about it" if offered the job and that it would not be too much to handle for a mere finance minister.

Chairing the Eurogroup means organising conference calls or meetings - often several times a month - in recent times dealing with the bailouts of Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Cyprus.

Juncker re-opens race for Eurogroup chief

Eurogroup chief Juncker has opened the race for his succession, with French finance minister Moscovici or Austrian leader Faymann seen as possible candidates.

Eurogroup makes 'progress' on Greek deal

Eurozone ministers endorsed an agreement in principle between the Greek government and its creditors over a new package of reforms. But talks on fiscal targets and debt could still block a final agreement.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Commission stops German-British stock merger

The decision to block the merger of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Boerse was expected, as negotiations between the parties broke down a few weeks ago.

SMEs lack support in EU financial plan

The European Commission's plan for a capital markets union is said to be aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, but many could end up being left out in the cold.

New anti-trust complaint looms over Microsoft

At least three security software companies “met several times” with the European Commission to complain about Microsoft’s alleged abuse of its market position. A formal case could follow.

Investigation

MEPs oppose EU agency to prevent Dieselgate II

The European Parliament said on Tuesday that there should be more EU oversight on how cars are approved, but stopped short of calling for an independent EU agency.

News in Brief

  1. Vote of no confidence prepared against Spanish PM
  2. Syria to buy Russian anti-missile system
  3. Germany seeks partial burka ban
  4. Libya has no plan to stop migration flows
  5. EU has no evidence of NGO-smuggler collusion in Libya
  6. Poland gets 'final warning' on logging in ancient forest
  7. Commission gives Italy final warning on air pollution
  8. Romania and Slovenia taken to court over environment policies

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceCharlotte Hornets' Nicolas Batum Tells Kids to "Eat Well, Drink Well, Move!"
  2. ECR GroupSyed Kamall: We Need a New, More Honest Relationship With Turkey
  3. Counter BalanceParliament Sends Strong Signal to the EIB: Time to Act on Climate Change
  4. ACCARisks and Opportunities of Blockchain and Shared Ledgers Technologies in Financial Services
  5. UNICEFRace Against Time to Save Millions of Lives in Yemen
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersDeveloping Independent Russian-Language Media in the Baltic Countries
  7. Swedish EnterprisesReform of the European Electricity Market: Lessons from the Nordics, Brussels 2 May
  8. Malta EU 2017Green Light Given for New EU Regulation to Bolster External Border Checks
  9. Counter BalanceCall for EU Commission to Withdraw Support of Trans-Adriatic Pipeline
  10. ACCAEconomic Confidence at Highest Since 2015
  11. European Federation of Allergy and Airways60%-90% of Your Life Is Spent Indoors. How Does Poor Indoor Air Quality Affect You?
  12. European Gaming and Betting AssociationCJEU Confirms Obligation for a Transparent Licensing Process

Latest News

  1. EU boasts unity on Brexit talks
  2. May’s election juggernaut
  3. EPP scolds Orban over university and NGO laws
  4. Oxford-Studie besorgt über 'Schrott' News in Frankreich
  5. Alte Freundschaft zwischen Le Pen und Putin
  6. EP chief faces questions after homophobic 'summit'
  7. EU signals Northern Ireland could join if united with Ireland
  8. One year later: EU right to open internet still virtual