It is now official: the Ministers of Economy of the European Union have endorsed the candidacy of their Spanish colleague, Nadia Calviño, for the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB), as has been learned The vanguard from diplomatic sources. Calviño’s departure from the Government will force a reshuffle of the executive that will affect a crucial portfolio and, although the position remains vacant on January 1, 2024, Pedro Sánchez has suggested that the transition could last “a few months.”
“I am pleased to announce that we have reached a consensus on the candidacy of Nadia Calviño as future president of the EIB,” the Belgian Minister of Finance, Vincent van Peteghem, informed the press minutes after the decision was made, which will allow the process to get underway. internal appointment. The appointment will be discussed next Wednesday at the meeting of the Bank’s board of directors, which will launch the process. “We want to have a new president at the beginning of next year, so there are between three and four weeks left to complete the procedure,” Van Peteghem added. Calviño also appeared before the press to celebrate the news and declare herself “grateful and honored” for having obtained the support of her ministerial colleagues to direct the EIB.”
“The EIB is the financial arm of the EU to finance European policies and will also have an even more important role in the future to finance the green transition, the reconstruction of Ukraine or reinforce Europe’s role in the world,” declared the first vice president in a brief press appearance in Brussels. It is the first time that Spain has presided over this financial institution and the appointment, she assured, “confirms the appreciation, respect and leadership of Spain in the European and international sphere that we have achieved.” [a base de ] hard work in recent years.” Calviño has announced that he will be in contact with Belgium, as interim president of the bank’s Board of Directors, to prepare a “monographic discussion” on its priorities that will take place at the Ecofin meeting in February.
It has been a closer fight than ever, with high-level candidates, such as the Danish Margrethe Vestager or the Italian Daniel Franco, defended tooth and nail by their governments until the last moment. But after four months, today the political phase of the selection process has been closed with the Economy Ministers endorsing the conclusion of the consultations held by Belgium, the country that holds the rotating presidency of the financial entity, and that Calviño has emerged as the only candidate that meets the two criteria to win the position: having the support of the majority of countries (more than 18 therefore) that, in turn, represent at least 68% of the EIB’s capital.
Calviño has had the support of at least 18 of the 27 EU countries, representatives of 68% of the Bank’s capital
This is the message conveyed by the Belgian Minister of Finance, Vincent van Peteghem, to his colleagues at the working breakfast held before the start of the Ecofin meeting. His intention now is to inform the EIB Board of Directors that Calviño is the only possible candidate and propose to start the process to formalize the appointment. In mid-November, days after the inauguration of Pedro Sánchez as President of the Government, Calviño obtained crucial support, that of Germany. France has not publicly expressed its preference: Vestager, as a member of the European liberal family, would have been the logical candidate. But relations with the Danish, European Competition Commissioner on leave, have not been good and different European sources assumed that Paris had more sympathy for the southern candidate.
Belgium, which has carried out bilateral consultations with great discretion since August, concluded last Friday that the Spanish candidate was the one with the most support and sent a letter to the capitals in which it reported the situation and opted to appoint Calviño. The silence procedure launched by Bélica concluded on Monday and, as La Vanguardia reported this Wednesday, the conclusion of the Belgian Minister of Finance was that Calviño had indeed gathered the necessary support to be proposed to the Board of Directors of the EIB as president. “At a given moment, I felt that there was enough support to meet the two conditions and I took a step forward. Today we finalized that political process and moved towards the formal phase of the procedure,” explained Van Peteghem, whose management has been criticized by the Government. Italian, who trusted that his candidate would emerge as the figure of consensus capable of breaking the blockade between Calviño and Vestager, and today he spoke during the ministers’ breakfast but without drama, with a “reasonable” intervention, diplomatic sources say .