Thursday

25th Aug 2016

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."

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

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."

News in Brief

  1. Switzerland sees increase in migrants from Italy
  2. Norway to build Arctic border fence
  3. Brexit leader Farage addresses Trump rally
  4. Finland holds 'IS fighter' over 2014 Iraq mass killing
  5. Commission allows Portuguese bank recapitalisation
  6. Ex-commissioner: my rules on emissions are not vague
  7. Leading Danish MEP steps down from post
  8. US cooperating with Turkey on Gulen extradition

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFASpain is not a democratic state. EFA expresses its solidarity to Arnaldo Otegi and EH Bildu
  2. UNICEFBoko Haram Violence in Lake Chad Region Leaves Children Displaced and Trapped
  3. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  4. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  5. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  6. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  7. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  8. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  9. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  10. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  11. GoogleA Little Bird Told us to Start Tweeting About Google’s Work Across Europe. Learn More @GoogleBrussels
  12. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?

Latest News

  1. Let's fix EU copyright law, for innovation and creativity online
  2. French government tries to defuse burkini row
  3. EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?
  4. US slams EU competition policies
  5. French diesel committee 'did not cover up for Renault'
  6. EU backs Greek ex-data chief over criminal charges
  7. EU must step up migrant relocation, say Italy and Greece
  8. Merkel seeks post-Brexit vision on EU tour