Donnery loses out in bid for top ECB post
Setback boosts Central Bank governor Lane’s chances of ECB executive role Majority of ECB governing council members vote for Italian candidate
Central Bank deputy governor Sharon Donnery has been beaten by an Italian economist in a competition to become the next chairman of the European Central Bank’s (ECB) banking supervision arm.
However, the result of the ballot by members of the ECB governing council yesterday has boosted the odds of Central Bank governor Philip Lane securing an executive position at the Frankfurt-based organisation next year – as well as Ms Donnery’s chance of succeeding him in Dublin.
A majority of governing council members voted in favour of Andrea Enria, currently the head of the European Banking Authority (EBA), being installed as the Single Supervisory Mechanism’s (SSM) chairman from January for five years, succeeding the outgoing head, Danièle Nouy.
The appointment still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament and euro zone governments, the ECB said in a statement, confirming Mr Enria’s nomination.
Ms Donnery (46) surprised Government officials when she put her name forward in August to lead the SSM, as Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is eyeing an ECB executive seat for Mr Lane as the institution’s chief economist, Peter Praet, retires next May. The Republic is the only founding member of the euro zone not to have held an executive board position at the ECB, and sources had previously indicated that it would be unlikely for a small euro zone country to secure two top ECB roles at the same time.
Mr Donohoe pulled Prof Lane as a candidate for the vice-presidency of the ECB in February as the only other person in the race, Spain’s then economy minister Luis de Guindos, had lined up more votes.
The withdrawal was said at the time to count in favour, politically, of the Republic securing the next executive ECB position, particularly as Prof Lane’s technical expertise had shone through when both candidates made presentations in February to the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.
Government sources have said that Ms Donnery, who had long been hotly tipped as a successor to Prof Lane, would have boosted her chances to become the first woman governor of the Central Bank in the event that she was beaten in the SSM race.