France has nominated its second-highest Treasury official, Benoit Coeure, to a seat on the European Central Bank’s six-member executive board. If Coeure is appointed, he would once again give France a voice in the ECB’s policies and decisions, something it has lacked since the retirement of Jean-Claude Trichet from the ECB’s presidency at the end of October. He would replace Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, who will leave his seat on Jan. 1.
Bloomberg reported that Coeure’s nomination continues France’s tradition of choosing candidates from among finance ministry staff. Finance Minister Francois Baroin said of the nomination in a statement on Thursday, “Benoit Coeure has the experience and the authority required in monetary and banking fields.” Euro area leaders must approve the nomination before Coeure will be allowed to take up the post.
Pierre-Olivier Beffy, chief economist at Exane BNP Paribas, commented in a statement that a single appointment “won’t change the ECB worldview. The ECB’s condition for more support is that the necessary budgetary measures are taken and a coherent integration plan is in place.”