Friday

30th Sep 2022

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

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

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. EU ministers adopt measures to tackle soaring energy bills
  2. EU takes Malta to court over golden passports
  3. EU to ban Russian products worth €7bn a year more
  4. Denmark: CIA did not warn of Nord Stream attack
  5. Drone sightings in the North Sea 'occurred over months'
  6. Gazprom threatens to cut gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine
  7. New compromise over EU energy emergency measures
  8. 15 states push for EU-wide gas price cap

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. The European Association for Storage of EnergyRegister for the Energy Storage Global Conference, held in Brussels on 11-13 Oct.
  2. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBA lot more needs to be done to better protect construction workers from asbestos
  3. European Committee of the RegionsThe 20th edition of EURegionsWeek is ready to take off. Save your spot in Brussels.
  4. UNESDA - Soft Drinks EuropeCall for EU action – SMEs in the beverage industry call for fairer access to recycled material
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic prime ministers: “We will deepen co-operation on defence”
  6. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries

Latest News

  1. Two elections and 'Macron's club' in focus Next WEEK
  2. EU agrees windfall energy firm tax — but split on gas-price cap
  3. Ukrainian chess prodigy: 'We are not going to resign ... anywhere'
  4. Going Down Under — EU needs to finish trade deal with Australia
  5. MEPs worry Russian disinfo weakens support for Ukraine
  6. Everything you need to know about the EU gas price cap plan
  7. Why northeast Italy traded in League for Brothers of Italy
  8. How US tech giants play EU states off against each other

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us