The appointment of the last member of European Central Bank’s Executive Board has lately been actively discussed and debated in the European Parliament. In October the Parliament chose, by a narrow margin, not to approve the nomination of Yves Mersch, Governor of the Central Bank of Luxembourg, to the ECB top board. The appointment of Mr Mersch would entail a completely male representation in the board until 2018. The competence of Mr Mersch was not called into question, rather the fact that a more gender balanced representation is needed in the ECB:s decision-making bodies and that the European Council has not been listening to the Parliament’s demands to nominate a female candidate.
It is the European Council, consisting of all Member State’s governments, who nominates and appoints the member. The European Parliament has continuously demanded that the gender balance in ECB must be improved and that also women have to be nominated, but the demands have not been heard and as of yet, no woman has been nominated.
– It is unacceptable that Europe’s most influential financial institution is governed only by men, says Nils Torvalds, Member of the European Parliament. There is clearly a structural problem in the nomination procedure, which has to be addressed as quickly as possible and cannot be postponed indefinitely. This is not a unique case, the representation of women is constantly lower in higher positions and decision-making bodies, reminds Torvalds.
The Council of Ministers can, despite Parliament’s disapproval, still appoint Mersch as Member of the Executive Board.