Daily Management Review

An Expected Change In Brussels Could Be Crucial For The Euro Zone


An Expected Change In Brussels Could Be Crucial For The Euro Zone
As EU officials decide who'll take key roles at the helm of the euro zone bloc, there'll be some big political changes taking place inside the inner chambers of the EU over the next few months.
With the incumbents set to step down at the end of the year, some names have started to emerge behind closed doors. the president of the Euro Working Group (a less-known position, which decides the agenda of the Eurogroup) and the president of the Eurogroup (which brings together the finance ministers of the 19 countries that share the euro) are the roles that are up for grabs.
Both positions will oversee new rules that could be applied to European banks and could affect how Greece's debt is restructured and are key for the stability and future of the euro zone - the monetary bloc of 19 nations.
Further, who will take the presidency and vice-presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB) will also be influenced by them. When deciding which seat goes to whom, there's always a "battle" of nationalities between member states in Europe.
Carsten Brzeski, chief euro zone economist at ING, said that the Eurogroup and Euro Working Group are "spiders in the web and often mediators between different countries and different interests."
The start of December is e expected time when the decision on who will replace Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the current chief of the Eurogroup, is expected to take place.
Oone of the 19 sitting finance ministers will take the role of the Dutch politician who is leaving in January. the Luxembourg Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, the French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, the Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir, the Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno, and the Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos are the five names being mentioned the most at the moment.
Luis de Guindos failed to get enough support from his colleagues when he had previously run against Dijsselbloem in the last election for the presidency. Heh also may shy away from the Eurogroup because he is also often mentioned as one of the potential names to fulfill the vice-presidency of the ECB.
In a television interview in May, running for the Eurogroup presidency was not ruled out by Mario Centeno. EU officials tend to strike a balance between nationalities and political affiliations when distributing European roles and currently the majority of the big European positions are in the hands of the center-right and hence the fact that he's from the Socialist Party in Portugal is in his favor.
Just like Dijsselbloem, Peter Kazimir is also viewed as a center-right man and is also from the left. Incentivizing structural reforms and tough economic measures, he has been one of the most critical ministers of Greece's bailout program. If indeed ministers look for a president from the "traditional" left, this could hurt his chances.
The same applies to France's Le Maire. Keen on securing some key roles for France is the French President Emmanuel Macron and this is not a secret. Bruno Le Maire’s fluency in German are among his skills. But he is also perceived as a right-wing politician. He is in charge of fulfilling deep reforms in France and belonged to the Les Republicains party.