On March 22, the European Council will appoint the next Vice-President of the European Central Bank (ECB). The term of office of the present Vice-President, Vítor Constâncio, ends on May 31. Today it became known that the Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos is officially nominated for this position by his government. So far, the only opposing candidate is the governor of the Irish Central Bank, Philip Lane. A woman hasn’t been nominated yet. In the history of the ECB, no woman has ever held any of the bank’s top positions. In the Governing Council, too, only two out of 25 members are women. In addition to an informal hearing of all nominees, the European Parliament will formally hear the proposed candidate on February 27 and vote on the candidate on March 13. However, the European Council may appoint the ECB Vice-President irrespective of the outcome of the vote in the European Parliament.
MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:
“The ECB is a men’s bank. It is utterly anachronistic that there has never been a female President or Vice-President of the ECB. It is high time for the ECB to arrive in the year 2018. The position of the vice-president should therefore be assigned to a woman. The EU Parliament should refuse its approval if there are only male candidates. I call for an equal number of female and male candidacies. There are many qualified women for this job.
In principle, a Spanish candidate should be welcomed, but the government should propose a woman. Luis de Guindos also has a problem with regard to the independence the central bank: Candidates for the leadership of the ECB should not come from the ranks of finance ministers. I t would be unthinkable for a German Finance Minister to become a member of board of the Bundesbank. De Guidos is a threat to the independence of the ECB.”
Letter from the Greens/EFA Group to the head of the Eurogroup to promote gender balance in the candidacies for the ECB Vice-President: