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Margrethe Vestager: Lost to Nadia Calviño

Photo: Kay Nietfeld / dpa

Margrethe Vestager even wanted to give up her post in the European Commission to become president of the European Investment Bank (EIB) – now Vestager and the Danish government are backpedaling on their bid for the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Both now have to admit defeat to Spain and their candidate Nadia Calviño. She has enough support from EU governments to become the next head of the European Investment Bank, said Belgian EIB President Vincent Van Peteghem. Calviño will now succeed the German Werner Hoyer, who took over the top job in 2012.

Calviño, 55, who is not affiliated with any political party, has been her country's economy minister since 2018. She is considered politically independent and a technocrat. The economist is credited with successfully leading the Spanish economy through the Covid-19 crisis. She is due to take up her post on 1 January.

Danes disappointed

Commenting on Vestager's resignation, Danish Social Democrat Economy Minister Morten Bødskov said: "Together we have decided to withdraw her candidacy. We would like to thank Margrethe Vestager for making herself available for candidacy." However, they had hoped for a different result.

Margrethe Vestager, on the other hand, is now expected to resume her duties as Vice-President and Competition Commissioner of the EU. "It is important for Denmark to have a Danish commissioner. And Margrethe Vestager will now return to the European Commission as Executive Vice-President and Competition Commissioner," Bødskov said.

Vestager, also 55, thanked the Danish government for the nomination – and all those who had encouraged her to reform to make it more strategic, faster and more relevant.

The EIB is the EU's long-term lending institution. The owners are the Member States. The Bank is designed to finance investments that contribute to the achievement of the EU's policy objectives. The EIB claims to be the largest multilateral financial institution in the world.

Since its inception in 1958, the EIB has invested more than EUR <> trillion. At the moment, the main focus is on climate protection. Most recently, however, the EIB has also been committed to supporting Ukraine.