Hans Vijlbrief has informed me today of his decision to step down from the position of President of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), the preparatory body of the Eurogroup.
Hans has played a pivotal role in driving forward the euro-area reform, laying the ground for discussions at the Eurogroup over the past two years. It was a great pleasure to work with him. I wish him all the best in his future endeavours.
We have initiated the procedure to appoint a new President to ensure continuity in the intensive work required to deliver on our ambitious agenda for the first half of 2020.
The secretariat of the Eurogroup Working Group has launched today a call for candidates. The EWG will be informed of the list of candidates during its meeting of 6 February.
The new President will be elected by the EWG members in a subsequent meeting. She/he will then be appointed by the Eurogroup.
Until the appointment of a new President, the current Vice-President, Odile Renaud-Basso, will be acting EWG President.
The EWG prepares the meetings of the Eurogroup and promotes policy coordination on euro-area specific matters. It is composed of representatives of the euro-area member states of the Economic and Financial Committee, the European Commission and the European Central Bank.
The President of the EWG also traditionally serves as President of the Economic and Financial Committee, which contributes to the preparation of the economic and financial affairs configuration of the Council.