Lane formally nominated for chief economist role with ECB
Central Bank of Ireland Governor Philip Lane has been put forward for the post of chief economist at the European Central Bank, a job for which he has already emerged as the front-runner.
Ireland is the only founding member of the euro bloc never to have had a central banker on the ECB's executive board, and the post becomes vacant when incumbent Peter Praet steps down on May 31.
Dr Lane is seen as a close ally of ECB President Mario Draghi, who steps down later this year.
"I am delighted to nominate Governor Lane to the executive board of the ECB. Philip is well recognised as a person of calibre and is held in high esteem across Europe," Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe said.
The nomination of Dr Lane followed the formal opening of the process at a meeting of eurozone finance ministers.
Ireland is believed to have bolstered its case for Dr Lane when he pulled out of the running for a job as ECB vice-president.
The chief economist post is seen as the second most powerful role in the bank as the holder sets the economic framework for the institution and will play a key role in whether it starts to raise interest rates this year.
The ECB's forecasting record has come under fire, with critics saying it has persistently overestimated inflation and unemployment. With Europe's economy slowing, concerns are growing that the ECB may not raise rates this year.