26th Jun 2019

Juncker confirmed as 'Mr Euro'

Luxembourg's Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker has been chosen as semi-permanent President of the group of finance ministers from the 12 countries that share the euro, representing the group at international finance events

Mr Juncker, who is both leader and finance minister of Luxembourg, will provide a link between the euro zone and the European Central Bank and will chair the monthly meetings of the group.

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  • Mr Euro (Photo: Irish EU Presidency)

His term as President will last two years.

Grasser as Vice-President

The concerns of Austria have been swept aside with the appointment of their finance minister Karl-Heinz Grasser as Vice-President of the group.

Austria raised concerns over the appointment of a more permanent position because it was due to miss out on the chance of chairing the meetings itself.

However, it was agreed that Mr Grasser would be Vice-President for one and a half years. After this time, whichever country holds the rotating EU Presidency will provide the Vice-President.

The current head of the Council, Gerrit Zalm expressed his pleasure that a compromise had been reached. "I am a happy Chairman", he told reporters.

Mr Grasser himself told journalists that it was a "good compromise".

Mr Juncker - whose name had been suggested as the President of the European Commission - quipped, "as my name has been circulated for all sorts of Presidents, I could hardly say no to this one".

Juncker calls for key economic target to be revised

The Union’s key target date of 2010 for becoming the most competitive economy in the World should be revised, according to Luxembourg’s PM and the man many tip to be the next Commission president in an interview with the EUobserver.

EU top court backs Canada trade deal in ruling

The European Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that the EU-Canada free trade agreement, and its controversial dispute settlement mechanism, is in line with the bloc's rules.

EU and Japan in delicate trade talks

The Japanese PM comes to Brussels to discuss the first results of the new EU-Japan free trade deal, plus WTO reform - a sensitive topic before he moves onto Washington to face Donald Trump.

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