Paschal Donohoe, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform, has put his name forward for consideration for the Presidency of the Eurogroup. The Eurogroup consists of the Finance Ministers of Eurozone countries. The vote for the next President will take place during the next meeting of the ministers on July 9th. The head of the group can play a significant role in chairing meetings and agenda setting for the members of the Eurozone aiming to coordinate economic policy across the currency zone. This role has only grown in importance since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and its resulting economic crisis.
In order for him to be eligible to run, Minister Donohoe must be a serving Finance Minister. His nomination supports the expectation that Mr Donohoe will remain in his current role as Finance Minister in the incoming government. This would likely mean that Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath will become minster for public expenditure and reform. Mr Donohoe said that if elected, he will work to chart a common way forward on building the European recovery, strengthening the Eurozone economy, and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth for member states and their citizens.
Spain has formally nominated its Finance Minister Nadia Calviño for role. Ms Calviño would be the first woman to hold the role if elected. Luxembourg’s Finance Minster, Pierre Gramegna, has also put his name forward for the role. However, Mr Donohoe is one of Europe’s longest serving senior ministers and if the coalition between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Green Party is approved this weekend, he could expect cross party support for his nomination rather than just from Fine Gael’s European People’s Party. Coupled with this, Ireland is seen by many as a compromise candidate – a middle ground that extends across the Eurogroup’s north and south divisions on economic matters.