Bank is prepared to see other candidates

 

The European Investment Bank has said it is prepared to consider other applications or nominations that are made for the post of vice president of the bank, confirming that it is not obliged to accept the Government's nomination of Mr Hugh O'Flaherty.

In response to a challenge to its practice of appointing the nominees of member states for such posts, the bank has acknowledged that this practice is not specifically provided for in the bank's own statute.

In response, a writer and political campaigner Mr Michael Nugent who raised the matter with the bank, has now forwarded the curriculum vitae of independent Senator Shane Ross for consideration.

Mr Ross, the business editor of the Sunday Independent with extensive financial experience, said yesterday he would consider over the weekend whether to allow himself to be formally nominated.

As the Government confirmed yesterday that it would take no action to progress Mr O'Flaherty's appointment until next Friday, the EIB said this week it would consider applications or nominations of suitably qualified people. "Experience in financial matters is taken into account," the EIB said.

The bank explained its position in response to a series of detailed queries from Mr Nugent this week.

Mr Nugent has argued that the EIB's own statute gives member states such as Ireland no formal role in the nomination of vice presidents, and that this was solely the function of the board's directors.

The secretary general of the bank, Mr FAW Carpenter has confirmed this in a letter to Mr Nugent sent this week.

While it has been the practice to appoint the nominees of member states, it is not obliged to do so, he said. "The bank's secretariat will forward candidatures received in time for nomination by the bank's board of directors," he said.