January 21, 2019 / 2:12 PM / 8 months ago

Ireland puts central bank governor up for ECB job

Governor of the Central Bank of Ireland Philip Lane arrives at Government buildings in Dublin, Ireland, November 8, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Ireland nominated its central bank governor, Philip Lane, as a candidate to replace European Central Bank’s chief economist at the end of May as euro zone finance ministers gathered in Brussels to begin recruiting for the job.

Peter Praet, 70, has been the chief economist of the ECB since June 2011; his term ends on May 31. Euro zone finance ministers will invite applications for his replacement on Monday and decide on a candidate at their next meeting, on Feb. 11.

“I’m pleased to confirm that I will be nominating Philip Lane for the approaching vacancy in the executive board of the European Central Bank,” Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe told reporters on Monday.

Lane’s economic, financial and policy-making record ideally position him to take a seat at the Executive Board of the European Central Bank, a statement from he Irish finance ministry.

Lane is also the chair of the Advisory Technical Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB) and was the chair of the High-Level Task Force on Safe Assets and the Advisory Scientific Committee.

No other candidates has been officially put forward yet. If more are and a vote among euro zone finance ministers is needed, the winner must get what a reinforced qualified majority — at least 14 out of 19 voting in favour, representing at least 65 percent of the population of the euro zone.

The candidate will then go for a hearing in the European Parliament, which issues its non-binding opinion. Negative parliamentary opinions have been ignored in the past.

The candidate will be formally appointed by EU leaders at a summit on March 21-22, in a qualified majority vote, reflecting the economic size and populations of the voting countries.

Reporting By Francesco Guarascio, writing by Jan Strupczewski, editing by Larry King

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