The hearing of ECB executive board candidate Yves Mersch scheduled for Monday in the Economic and Monetary Affairs committee has been postponed.

Explaining the decision Sharon Bowles (ALDE, UK), Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee said:

"On Thursday a decision was taken by the coordinators of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee to postpone the hearing of Yves Mersch, candidate for a post on the ECB’s executive board, after it became evident that no female candidate had been considered for the position before the official Council recommendation was made.

The committee has raised its concerns on lack of gender balance on the ECB Board and Governing council this for a long time. There is now not even a single woman sitting on the main board of what is one of the most powerful and essential institutions in the EU.  The symbolic and practical effects of this absence are not without note.

On the 8th May I wrote to Jean-Claude Juncker requesting that the Euro Group, of which he is president, consider at least one candidate of each gender before making a recommendation for the replacement of Mr Gonzalez Paramo.  I also encouraged him to implement a medium-term plan to facilitate advancement of women to influential positions in the ECB and national central banks, as well as within finance ministries. It does seem, as with corporations, that there is a systemic cultural problem to address.

I have received some verbal assurances that no suitable women could be located, but no formal reply nor answer concerning the medium-term plan.

In consequence it is felt that our concerns have not been addressed in a sufficiently rigorous way and that it is not appropriate to proceed with the hearing at this point in time."


Mr Paramo's mandate expired on 31 May but the Council was only able to reach a decision on a recommendation of Mr Mersch in June.