Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem was confirmed as the new president of the Eurogroup on Monday evening. He succeeds Luxemburg’s Jean-Claude Juncker, who is stepping down after eight years.
Dijsselbloem, who is just 11 weeks into his job with the Dutch coalition government, told the assembled euro countries’ finance ministers he wants to revive trust in the euro and focus on longer-term policies to create sustainable growth in the eurozone.
In a letter to his eurozone colleagues, he said he would push for an invitation to meetings of the G20, the meetings of finance ministers and central bankers from the world’s 20 largest economies.
The minister, a Labour party representative in the new coalition, said the eurozone should press on with reforms and fiscal consolidation, but warned such policies should be tailored to each country’s circumstances.
‘We now need to keep the momentum going, to ensure we retain the confidence we have managed to regain in a lasting manner,’ he said. ‘The focus needs to shift from crisis management to delivering and implementing sound medium-term policies.’
According to media reports on Tuesday, Spain voted against Dijsselbloem’s appointment.
The move means the Dutch minister will spend a lot of time travelling between Amsterdam and Brussels. The job involves setting the agenda for meetings of the 17 eurozone finance ministers and working out compromises behind the scenes.
Dijsselbloem’s place at the negotiating table will be taken by Frans Weekers, the current junior finance minister.