The Irish Government is today expected to nominate Paschal Donohoe to become President of the Eurogroup, an influential role responsible for coordinating finance ministers across the Euroarea.
The nomination, which has to be made by a deadline later today, will copper fasten expectations that Paschal Donohoe will retain his job as Minister for Finance here in the incoming Government.
The Eurogroup’s outgoing President Mário Centeno resignation as Portugal’s finance minister triggered the need for a new leader of the group of eurozone finance ministers.
The Eurogroup President is essentially first among equals – chairing meetings of fellow finance minister and interacting for that group with the likes of the European Commission and the European Central Bank, giving whoever has the job a significant say in policy coordination.
Mr Centeno, dubbed the “Cristiano Ronaldo of EU finance ministers” is highly regarded, having combined an opposition to austerity with the delivery of a budget surplus at home in Portugal. His influence was heavily felt in the EU’s response to the Covid 19 crisis, which is heavily tilted against austerity and towards stimulus.
Spain has formally nominated its Finance Minister Nadia Calviño this morning for the same role. She would be the first woman, and as part of a Socialist government would offer some continuity with the outgoing Presidency. The decision on who gets the job will be decided by a vote of Euroarea members.
Paschal Donohoe is now one of Europe’s longest serving senior minister and, if it comes together this weekend, a Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and Green coalition means Ireland can potential draw support from a wider range of European opinion that Fine Gael’s traditional support base in the European People’s Party.