Sunday

21st Oct 2018

Dijsselbloem to replace Juncker as Eurogroup chief

Jeroen Dijsselbloem is poised to become the new chair of the Eurogroup, after outgoing chairman Jean-Claude Juncker gave tacit confirmation the Dutch finance minister would replace him.

Speaking on Wednesday (10 January) in the European Parliament's economic affairs committee in his final hearing with MEPs as chair of the 17-member group, Juncker commented: "I will speak to my successor in a Benelux language."

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Juncker, who also serves as Luxembourg's Prime Minister, will stand down later this month after holding the post since the Eurogroup was created in 2005.

Dijsselbloem is expected to be named as his successor when eurozone finance ministers meet next on 21 January. The post is not full-time and Dijsselbloem will retain his ministerial position, with Juncker admitting that the role "should be full-time, but this view is not shared by others."

With Dijsselbloem representing one of the few remaining EU countries with a AAA credit rating as well as the Dutch Labour party, the move should find favour with Germany's conservative leader Angela Merkel and with Francois Hollande, the Socialist President of France.

He has been finance minister only since November, however.

Meanwhile, Juncker also hinted that the first chief supervisor of the eurozone banking union would be a woman, telling MEPs that he is "in favour of a female head of the SSM [Single Supervisory Mechanism], she will be French and it will be done."

he refused to give any more details when pressed by reporters.

But French media on Wednesday said that Bank of France official Danielle Nouy is in line for the job.

Nouy, a career bank regulator, is currently the secretary general of the French Prudential Control Authority.

The SSM will be run under the auspices of the European Central Bank (ECB), with governments expected to finalise the first pillar of banking union legislation in the coming weeks.

The appointment would please MEPs, who have been vocal in demanding more women to top banking jobs. In October, they tried to block the nomination of Luxembourg central bank governor Yves Mersch to the ECB's executive board in protest at the lack of women on the bank's top table.

Quizzed about his own future, Juncker - who was touted as a possible candidate for European Commission President in 2004 and for European Council President in 2009 - said that he would seek re-election as his country's Prime Minister, a post he has held since 1995.

He added that while "the worst probably is over" in the euro crisis, "we have some difficult years in front of us and solving the problems will require a good deal of political courage."

He said international lenders to bailout countries - the commission, the ECB and the International Monetary Fund - should create incentives for countries which impose their austerity measures.

"I would have preferred us to come up with a system that would compensate them for the effort we asked them to make ... as there's no reward at the moment," he noted.

He also took a swipe at the northern European countries' reputation for solvency.

Juncker said they should "look at their records for the previous ten years," adding: "Countries of the north are not more virtuous than countries of the south."

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.

EU summit lays out next steps for banking union

EU leaders have agreed to take further steps towards banking union including the legal minefield of how to wind up ailing banks and make sure the tax payer does not foot the bill.

News in Brief

  1. Macedonia MPs back name deal in initial vote
  2. EU to open trade talks with US on beef
  3. EU court orders Poland to suspend firing judges
  4. Japan to focus on circular economy at G20
  5. Italian budget 'significant deviation' from rules, says EU
  6. Podemos initiates debate on legalising marijuana in Spain
  7. Merkel: Focus on banking union at December EU summit
  8. Scotland confirms mad cow disease case

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

The justice commissioner says the accommodation-rental website will better inform users about prices, and about the legal status of their 'hosts'. Facebook, however, could face sanctions if it doesn't comply with EU rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. What Italy's budget row is actually about
  2. EU preparing 'concentration camps' for migrants in Africa
  3. Poland to respect EU injunction on judicial purge
  4. EU votes on Facebook and plastic This WEEK
  5. Top EU banks guilty of multi-billion tax fraud
  6. Polish left a glimmer of hope in fight against illiberal democracy
  7. Europe and Asia seek stable relations in troubled times
  8. Asylum reforms derailed, as EU looks to north Africa

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us