Spain’s Nadia Calviño wins fight to head EU Investment Bank

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The Finance Minister’s victory over Denmark’s Margrethe Vestager comes after months of disputes

ANNOUNCEMENT

Spanish Finance Minister Nadia Calviño has been named as the next president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), resolving a long-standing dispute between EU finance ministers.

Vincent van Peteghem, the Belgian minister who chairs the public lender’s board of governors, told reporters that finance ministers had formed a “consensus” on his candidacy.

Calviño will be “a strong next president of the EIB, the largest investment bank in the world,” van Peteghem said. “I wish her the best.”

Calviño herself told reporters she was “grateful and honored” to have the support of her colleagues. “This support reflects the respect, appreciation and leadership we have earned through our hard work over the past year.”

Calviño, a former European Commission official, beat Danish Margrethe Vestager competition to lead the EU’s lending arm.

The post will become vacant when Germany’s Werner Hoyer steps down at the end of December, and van Peteghem had already suggested Calviño as the lead candidate in a letter to counterparts sent last week.

The position had been hotly contested, but Spain had a trump card. Under the presidency of the EU Council, which rotates among member states, Calviño has chaired meetings of finance ministers since July, likely giving her additional leverage to gain support.

Vestager has been the EU’s top antitrust regulator since 2014, challenging major tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook, but she stepped down temporarily in September to campaign for the EIB’s role.

In a send on X, Vestager confirmed that he will now withdraw his candidacy and resume his Commission duties.

An EU institution funded and governed by the bloc’s 27 national finance ministries, the EIB was recently rebranded as the bloc’s climate bank – in 2019 promising to support €1 trillion in sustainable investments and end fossil fuel financing – also financing billions of euros of reconstruction in war-ravaged Ukraine.

Calviño previously headed the EU budget department and ran for head of the International Monetary Fund in 2019, ultimately losing to Bulgaria’s Kristalina Georgieva.

His future in the national government seemed in doubt after Spain’s Socialist Party came second in July’s elections, but Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has since strengthened his position thanks to a controversial deal with Catalan separatists.

Hoyer, a former German deputy foreign minister, will step down on December 31 after serving two six-year terms.

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