Spain delivers the first female chairman of the European Investment Bank

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Nadia Calviño

MADRID – Spain’s Nadia Calviño has been appointed the new president of the European Investment Bank (EIB). This appointment is historic: Calviño is not only the first woman to hold this position but also the first Spaniard.

Her appointment follows a final vote from France, which tipped the balance in her favor at the expense of her main rival, Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager. Calviño’s appointment was conditional on the support of 18 EU member states, which together represent at least 68% of the bank’s capital. After receiving crucial support from Germany, one of the bank’s largest shareholders, Calviño eventually also won the support of France. This made her the leading candidate to succeed Werner Hoyer, the German predecessor.

Calviño’s unique background

Nadia Calviño brings a wealth of experience, with 12 years in leadership positions at the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). As Spanish Minister of Economy, she was previously proposed to lead the Eurogroup, but then lacked the necessary votes. However, her upcoming role at the EIB marks a new chapter in her impressive career.

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The process to the top

With the support of France and other EU member states, the formal appointment procedure can be completed quickly. This takes place within the bank’s board of directors, which must approve the recommendation by a qualified majority. It is expected that Calviño will be officially appointed before the end of the year, so she can take office on January 1, 2024.

A breakthrough for women and Spain

Calviño’s appointment is a milestone for both the EIB and Spain. She follows in the footsteps of seven male predecessors and thus breaks a long-standing pattern. Her salary as president of the EIB will be equivalent to that of Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, at around €375,000 per year.

Calviño’s farewell

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has already admitted that Calviño’s departure will be a significant loss, both personally and politically. Calviño’s departure from the Spanish government opens the door for a new economy minister. According to Sánchez, there are strong candidates both inside and outside the current government. With her new role at the EIB, Calviño will undoubtedly continue her influence on the European stage.

 

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