The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is entering the final stretch for its new leadership. The new CEO will be appointed in mid-June, by a qualified majority of the ESM Board of Directors (80% of the vote). He is expected to take office in October, when the second five-year term of the current CEO, Klaus Regling, ends.
Until a week ago, there were four candidates for the leadership of the ESM: the Italian Marco Bouti, head of the Office of the Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, and the former finance ministers of Luxembourg, Pierre Gramenia, the Netherlands, Meno , Hoao Leao. Following a vote in the Eurogroup on 23 May, Dutchman Meno Snel received the fewest votes and was forced to withdraw from the ESM leadership race.
It is said that two votes were cast in the Eurogroup on 23 May. The first round reportedly showed that the Dutch candidate, Meno Snell, had the least support. In the second round, the Italian candidate, Marco Bouti, is said to have received the fewest votes, but Italy did not withdraw its candidacy. According to the procedure, the voting was secret and the candidates were not present.
“After the presentation of the candidates, we held an indicative vote at the end of which the Netherlands decided to withdraw its candidacy,” Eurogroup President Pascal Donahue said after the May 23 meeting. He added that consultations would continue with all Member States, especially those who had nominated candidates, with a view to the final decision of the ESM Board of Governors on 16 June in Luxembourg.
There are now three candidates running for the ESM leadership: the former Luxembourg finance minister (December 2013-January 2022), the 64-year-old Pierre Gramenia, the former Portuguese finance minister (2020-2022), Joao Leao, 48 and 65-year-old Italian Marco Bouti.
It is worth noting that Pierre Gramenia was one of the three candidates in the race for the presidency of the Eurogroup in July 2020, along with the Spaniard Nadia Calvino and Pascal Donahue. Pierre Gramenia resigned as Luxembourg’s finance minister in January 2022. He had announced his resignation two months earlier.
To be nominated for a new ESM CEO, he / she must receive more than 80% of the votes on the ESM Board of Directors. Each eurozone country has a weighted vote according to its share of the bailout fund.