Today, the Eurogroup of Eurozone Finance Ministers will elect a new President. The nominees are Nadia Calvino, Spain's finance minister, Pierre Gramegna of Luxembourg and Paschal Donohoe of Ireland.
Of these, Calvino is considered a favorite. If Calvino were elected President, she would be the first woman to lead the Eurogroup.
A vote of 10 out of 19 is required for the election, i.e. a simple majority. Voting in the video conference is closed, so finance ministers will not see who has voted for anyone either.
If none of the candidates obtains a majority in the first round, a second round shall be held between the two with the most votes.
Prior to becoming Minister of Finance, Calvino held senior positions in the European Commission for a long time. Calvino has received a statement of support from Germany, for example.
Gramegna of Luxembourg aspired to lead the Eurogroup as early as 2.5 years ago, but then lost the race to Mario Centeno of Portugal. Gramegna, who has a diplomatic background, has a long experience of the Eurogroup, having served as Luxembourg's Minister of Finance since 2013.
Donohoe of Ireland, for his part, has emphasized his desire to act as a bridge-builder between North and South. Donohoe has been supported, for example, by the center-right European People's Party (EPP), a European party group.
The presidency is turning compromises
The Eurogroup is an informal group tasked with coordinating the economic policies of the eurozone countries and promoting economic growth. It usually meets once a month.
The chairman is elected for a term of 2.5 years. The presidency has an important role to play in promoting compromises as the northern and southern eurozone countries seek consensus.
During the coronavir crisis, the Eurogroup has played a key role in the EU's construction of a € 540 billion crisis package in the spring.
Instead, the negotiations on the EUR 750 billion recovery instrument currently under discussion and the multiannual financial framework are taking place at the table of EU leaders.
The Eurogroup presidency race kicked off when the current president, Centeno, announced in June that he would not seek an extension for his term. Centeno also resigned his ministerial seat in Portugal.
The previous presidents of the Eurogroup have been Jean-Claude Juncker of Luxembourg and Jeroen Dijsselbloem of the Netherlands.
Also a source for AFP