The presidency of the EIB could be voted on, to which Calviño and the until now vice-president of the Commission Margrethe Vestager aspire


Santiago de Compostela will host the informal meeting of the Ministers of Economy and Finance (Ecofin) of the European Union on September 15 and 16 and will bring together ministers from 60 countries, since the meeting will be attended, along with the 27, by another 33 representatives from Latin America and the Caribbean.

Spain holds the rotating presidency of the EU this semester and, under that role, the first vice president and acting minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, intends to close some of the most relevant files before the end of the year and given the proximity of the European elections.

The working sessions of the informal Ecofin meeting to be held next week in Santiago will focus on advancing strategic autonomy and strengthening international economic cooperation, especially with Latin America.

And within this framework of Ecofin, a joint meeting will be held for the first time with ministers and international financial institutions from the Latin American and Caribbean region, organized in collaboration with CAF-Development Bank of Latin America and the Caribbean. These meetings will revolve around a common theme: “Towards a Global Green and Digital Economy”.

But one of the “key” dossiers will be the new fiscal rules of the European Union, which Calviño also hopes to close before the end of the year, since there is a “broad consensus” among the 27 regarding which Spain has outlined as the four pillars of the agreement: institutional balance, common safeguards, fiscal space for investments and incentives and the guarantee of greater participation by EU countries.

“We have to have the new rules ready by the end of the year, because if we don’t do it now, it will be difficult for the Belgian presidency to achieve much more progress due to the European elections, which may result in a vulnerability for next year “, has warned.

Countries such as Germany and the Netherlands have already expressed their support to Calviño to lead the negotiation regarding the return of fiscal rules that, after four years frozen by the pandemic and the consequences of the war in Ukraine, will once again demand a reduction in the deficit. public below 3% of GDP and a public debt below 60%.

The proposal to reform fiscal rules launched a few months ago by Brussels gives greater power to governments to decide how to meet these objectives, although it requires a minimum annual deficit adjustment of 0.5% of GDP until reaching 3%, while which proposes a gradual reduction of the debt over four years, extendable up to seven.

In addition to these issues, next week’s informal meeting could address – although it is not confirmed – the discussion and voting on the candidacies for the presidency of the European Investment Bank (EIB), to which Nadia Calviño aspires. In any case, the final decision corresponds to the EIB Board of Governors, which is made up of the same ministers, expected in October.

The acting Government formally presented at the beginning of August – after the general elections on July 23 – the candidacy of the first vice president to preside over the European Investment Bank (EIB).

One of the main rivals for Calviño is the executive vice president of the European Commission responsible for Competition, the liberal Danish Margrethe Vestager, who has been pushing hard to replace the until now president of the EIB, Werner Hoyer.

Similarly, the Spanish minister will have three other competitors. These are the former Italian Finance Minister under Mario Draghi, Daniele Franco, Teresa Czerwinska and Thomas Östros. These last two names, from Poland and Sweden, respectively, currently hold the vice-presidency of the EIB.

Since the official list was published last Friday, the consultation period has already formally begun and, then, the ministers will be urged to reach an agreement “as soon as possible”, as community sources have explained to Europa Press .

Although there is no specific calendar, the same community sources have pointed out that the informal meeting in Santiago will “undoubtedly” be an “important” moment for informal negotiations and discussions, but they have stressed that it is not a “formal” term. .

The winning candidate must gather the support of 68% of the bank’s capital and at least 18 member states. The participation of each Member State is distributed according to their economic weight in the EU expressed in GDP upon entry into the Union -Spain contributes 9.66%- which makes the support of the three countries essential. main economic powers of the EU: Germany, France and Italy.

Since its founding in 1958, the Bank has had 7 presidents, all men and none Spanish. Thus, Nadia Calviño opts to become the first female president of the EIB, “a milestone for the institution and for Spain,” highlights the acting Executive.

Nadia Calviño has previously held various positions within the European Commission and also at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where she continues to be president of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). She was appointed to the latter position in December 2021.

Likewise, since she has been part of the Government of Spain, she was proposed in her category as Minister of Economy to preside over the Eurogroup last summer of 2020. On that occasion, however, she was left without obtaining the necessary votes to occupy a position, which fell into the hands of the Irishman Paschal Donohoe.

Regarding her candidacy to present the European Investment Bank (EIB) and her future in Spanish politics, Calviño has recently recognized her “strong motivation”, although she has explained that it is expected that she will continue as vice president until the end of the year because the position of president of the EIB would not occupy it until 2024 if elected.

“I would continue as first vice president of the Government and direct the country’s economic policy until the end of the year and until when we proceed. At this moment I am very focused precisely on continuing directing the economic policy,” she reiterated.