Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Thursday that his term at the helm of the Eurogroup ends in 2018, and let the world in Greece and his Spanish counterpart Luis de Guindos know that he does not intent to leave earlier due to the defeat of his Labor Party in the Dutch elections.
“We have to form a new government coalition but my mandate at the head of the Eurogroup ends in January 2018,” Michel Reijns, spokesman of the Eurogroup president, quoted Dijsselbloem.
Dijsselbloem chairs the Eurogroup since January 2013, his position was renewed in July 2015. He was challenged by de Guindos who did not manage to win majority of his eurozone counterparts.
There is currently no specific provision that the chairman of the Eurogroup has to be a finance minister. theoretically, Dijsselbloem can remain as eurogroup president until his term ends.
Protocol 14 of the Lisbon Treaty (2009) simply states: “Ministers of member states of the eurozone must elect a president for two and a half years by a majority of member states.”
However, the tradition so far has been the election of a finance minister as head of the Eurogroup, initially by Jean-Claude Juncker (2009-2013) who was prime minister and finance minister of Luxembourg, and then the Dutch finance minister Dijsselbloem.
In September 2004, the Eurogroup decided it should have a semi-permanent president who would be appointed for a term of two years.
Finance Minister and then Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean-Claude Juncker was appointed first president of the Eurogroup, mandated from 1 January 2005, until 31 December 2006, and was re-appointed for a second term in September 2006. Under the Lisbon Treaty, this system was formalised (see “legal basis” below) and Juncker was confirmed for another term.
Sources of the Spanish government refused to confirm a possible new candidacy by De Guindos, indicating that, for the moment, “Dijssebloem is the president of the Eurogroup.”
PS new eurogroup elections in 2018? most probably Schaeuble will not be around…