Today, the European Parliament voted on the nomination of Luis de Guindos as Vice-President of the ECB. De Guindos received only a narrow majority of 331 votes, while 306 MEPs voted against and 64 abstained in a secret ballot. De Guindos was nominated for this position by the Eurogroup on February 19 and was until recently Spain’s Finance Minister. The vote in the European Parliament is not binding for the Council’s decision. Following a hearing in the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON) on February 26, the candidate was criticised by various political groups in the European Parliament for his lack of expertise and political independence due to his current position. In a letter to Mario Centeno, Chairman of the Eurogroup, the committee’s coordinators called for greater involvement of the European Parliament and enhanced transparency and gender equality in the future nomination of candidates.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
„Mario Centeno’s answer is disappointing. We need more democracy, competition and gender equality in appointing members of the ECB Executive Board. The European Parliament must stand firm in this regard. In the forthcoming appointments, the Eurogroup will have to accept changes in the appointment process.
The result of the vote is inglorious for Luis De Guindos. Someone who receives in the European Parliament less Yes votes than Nos and abstentions should not become Vice-President of the ECB. We Greens will continue to argue for independent and competent candidates. At last, more women should be in the leadership of the ECB.“
Letter from ECON to Mario Centeno:
The disappointing answer from Mario Centeno: