March 14, 2019 / 11:30 AM / 8 days ago

EU Parliament confirms Lane's ECB appointment despite backlash on gender

FILE PHOTO: Irish central bank Governor Philip Lane participates in the forum on dealing with booms and busts during the IMF/World Bank spring meeting in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2018. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The European Parliament approved Philip Lane’s appointment to the European Central Bank’s board on Thursday and voted down a motion to delay that and the hiring of another two men to top European Union jobs due to gender-balance considerations.

The appointment of Lane, an established academic and policy dove, was seen as crucial by ECB President Mario Draghi to ensure continued support for his brand of easy-money, market-oriented monetary policy.

But the outcome of Thursday’s vote was briefly thrown into question when the Green party complained about the all-men trio put forward for that position, the chair of the European Banking Authority and a seat on the Single Resolution Board.

Eventually, the respective appointments of Lane, Jose Manuel Campa and Sebastiano Laviola were approved by a large majority in a plenary session in Strasbourg.

“Postponing the vote in my view is the wrong answer to the right issue,” Roberto Gualtieri, who was the rapporteur for the three appointments, told colleagues before the vote.

“We have defined an action plan to increase the number of women in top financial positions.”

Lane’s appointment now needs to be formalized by the European Council of the EU’s heads of government. He is due to take over from Peter Praet on June 1.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski in Brussels and Francesco Canepa in Strasbourg; Editing by Gareth Jones

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