21st Jan 2022

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.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • 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.

Covid variants put Schengen under pressure

The EU Commission also raised concerns about the proportionality of Belgium's ban on non-essential travel, for people wishing to leave the country.

Luxembourg tax scandal may prompt EU action

An investigation into Luxembourg's tax regime has uncovered how the Italian mafia, the Russian underworld, and billionaires attempt to stash away their wealth. The European Commission has put itself on standby amid suggestions changes to EU law may be needed.


Portugal vs Germany clash on EU corporate tax avoidance

Portugal's taking over the EU presidency puts the tax transparency law for corporations - which has been fought over for years - to a vote in the Council of Ministers. The resistance of the German government has failed.

News in Brief

  1. MEPs call for full-scale election observers in Hungary
  2. Nato membership 'very unlikely' on her watch: Finland's PM
  3. Germany investigates Green leaders' Covid-bonuns
  4. Officials surprised by Macron's call for seperate EU-Russia talks
  5. Commission to withhold EU funds from Poland in mine row
  6. 'Patriotic millionaires' call for wealth tax at virtual Davos
  7. Borders must not be moved by force, Scholz warns
  8. MEPs demand public consultation on gas and nuclear


Europe must plot its own course on China

Given China's size and interconnectedness with Europe, a strategic policy of non-engagement hardly deserves the label "strategic".

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Latest News

  1. Macron promises strong EU borders
  2. MEPs to crackdown on digital 'Wild West'
  3. Macron calls for new security order and talks with Russia
  4. Macron's vision will hit EU Council veto buffers
  5. Hydrogen - the 'no-lose bet' for fossil-fuel industry?
  6. Tomorrow MEPs can end EU animal export horror show
  7. An EU-Africa 'equal partnership' must tackle past and present
  8. Metsola becomes youngest EU Parliament president

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us