Sunday

15th Dec 2019

Lagarde set to lead ECB

  • France's Christine Lagarde was nominated to lead the ECB (Photo: Council of the EU)

Christine Lagarde is set to lead the European Central Bank following a breakthrough deal on top EU jobs at a summit in Brussels on Tuesday (2 July).

The French former finance minister and current managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is now set to succeed Mario Draghi, whose terms comes to an end in October.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

Lagarde accepted the nomination on Twitter only moments after it was officially announced by European Council president Donald Tusk.

"In light of this, and in consultation with the ethics committee of the IMF Executive Board, I have decided to temporarily relinquish my responsibilities as IMF managing director during the nomination period," she said.

If confirmed, the 63-year old Lagarde would become the second French national to lead the Frankfurt-based institution. She would also become its first female leader.

The ECB is the central bank of the 19 eurozone countries, tasked to maintain price stability in the euro area and preserve the purchasing power of the single currency.

The French lawyer has been pegged as more of a politician than as an economist, possibly ushering in a new ECB leadership style that departs from the more stoic career economist Draghi.

Although not trained as a economist, Lagarde has spent the past eight years at the helm of the Washington-based IMF.

Earlier this week, she warned of a global slowdown of growth following a sharp increase in trade tensions and Brexit, among other financial difficulties.

She is also not without controversy.

In 2016, she went to trial in an affair that cost the French taxpayer over €400m following a payment to a French tycoon during her time as a finance minister.

Before jumping into politics in France, Lagarde worked as anti-trust and labour lawyer, serving as a partner with the international law firm of Baker & McKenzie.

She was elected the firm's chair in 1999, a post she retained until 2005 when she took up a ministerial position on foreign trade in France.

Ombudsman insists Draghi leaves G30 bankers group

The European Ombudsman says that "maladministration" in the European Central Bank continues to exist as long as its president remains member of the secretive 'Group of Thirty'.

Who are the EU's new leaders?

Three out of the four people to lead the EU institutions in Brussels for the next five years were selected Tuesday, but none are well-known outside their own countries. The fourth, the European Parliament president, is to be chosen Wednesday.

Opinion

Lagarde's ECB must modernise

Christine Lagarde will succeed European Central Bank president Mario Draghi at a time of deepening polarisation among eurozone member states. It will take all of her skills as a leader and communicator to safeguard the institution's independence.

News in Brief

  1. EU Scream podcast wins media award
  2. Sturgeon will set out Scottish independence plan next week
  3. Slovenia, Croatia ex-leaders highlight jailed Catalans
  4. Italian court tells Facebook to reopen fascist party's account
  5. EU extends sanctions on Russia until mid-2020
  6. UK exit poll gives Johnson majority of 86
  7. Orban: 'financial guarantees' to reach climate neutrality
  8. Merkel hopes EU leaders agree 2050 climate-neutrality

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Latest News

  1. EU values face scrutiny This WEEK
  2. EU sighs relief after 'decisive' Johnson victory in UK
  3. Huge win for Conservatives in UK election
  4. Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician
  5. Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland
  6. EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference
  7. Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit
  8. Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us