The Eurogroup today appointed Tuomas Saarenheimo as President of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), the body tasked with preparing the meetings of euro area finance ministers.
Saarenheimo will take office as of 1 April 2020 and will serve a two-year term. He will succeed Hans Vijlbrief who had held the position between February 2018 and January 2020.
Tuomas is an experienced finance ministry official with a strong economic background. During his tenure as member of the EWG and the Finnish Presidency, he has shown a strong ability to reach compromise. Our agenda for the coming months is demanding, namely with new steps to complete EMU. I look forward to working with him to deliver on it.
Mario Centeno, President of the Eurogroup
Today’s appointment follows Saarenheimo’s election by EWG members on 6 February. Until the 1 April, the EWG’s Vice-President, Odile Renaud-Basso, will serve as acting 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 office of the President of the EWG is located in the General Secretariat of the Council of the EU, in Brussels.
Saarenheimo will also serve as the President of the Economic and Financial Committee, which prepares the economic and financial affairs configuration of the Council (ECOFIN). He was elected to this position by the EFC on 6 February 2020.
Until now, Saarenheimo has served as Permanent Under-Secretary for International and Financial Market Affairs at the Finnish Ministry of Finance. In this capacity, he has been representing Finland at the EWG and EFC since 2013.