Just one other candidate besides Philip Lane in race for ECB job

Eurogroup finance ministers to discuss candidatures, with Lane well-liked in Frankfurt

Philip Lane, governor of the Central Bank: going for the position of  vice president in the European Central Bank.  Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Philip Lane, governor of the Central Bank: going for the position of vice president in the European Central Bank. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The governor of the Irish Central Bank, Philip Lane, faces only one other candidate in the race to become vice-president of the European Central Bank. It would be the first time Ireland was represented at such a level in the EU’s financial institutions.

Eurogroup finance ministers on February 19th will discuss both candidatures to replace Vítor Constâncio after his term ends on May 31st, the new president of the Eurogroup – and former Portuguese finance minister – Mario Centeno announced on Wednesday night. He welcomed the high calibre of both candidates.

On February 20th, the Ecofin Council, by a majority voting of the euro area members, will formally adopt a recommendation which will go to the EU summit on March 22nd for final ratification.

A majority requires 72 per cent of euro area members in favour (ie, at least 14 out of the 19), and that they represent at least 65 per cent of the population .

Mr Lane, who was nominated by Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue last week, has been governor since November 2015 and has since served as a member of the Governing Council and General Council of the ECB.

Internationally highly thought-of as an academic economist , he was professor of international macroeconomics and director of the Institute for International Integration Studies (IIIS) at Trinity College. He is reported to be well thought-of in Frankfurt at the headquarters of the ECB, where he is also being talked of as being in line for the bank’s chief economist job.

The vice-president position is one of a number of senior EU posts currently, or about to fall vacant and it is likely that the two candidates will find themselves part of a major political horsetrading session the result of which few will be able to predict.

ECB president Mario Draghi will step down in October 2019.