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<Titre>on the Council recommendation on the appointment of the President of the European Central Bank</Titre>

<DocRef>(N9-0023/2019 - C9‑0048/2019 – 2019/0810(NLE))</DocRef>

<Commission>{ECON}Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs</Commission>

Rapporteur: <Depute>Roberto Gualtieri</Depute>



on the Council recommendation on the appointment of the President of the European Central Bank

(N9-0023/2019 - C9‑0048/2019 – 2019/0810(NLE))


The European Parliament,

 having regard to the Council’s recommendation of 9 July 2019[1],

 having regard to Article 283(2), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the European Council consulted Parliament (C9‑0048/2019),

 having regard to Rule 130 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A9-0008/2019),

A. whereas, by letter of 16 July 2019, the European Council consulted Parliament on the appointment of Christine Lagarde as the President of the European Central Bank for a term of office of eight years, with effect from 1 November 2019;

B. whereas Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs then proceeded to evaluate the credentials of the candidate, in particular in view of the requirements laid down in Article 283(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in the light of the need for full independence of the ECB pursuant to Article 130 of that Treaty; whereas in carrying out that evaluation, the committee received a curriculum vitae from the candidate as well as her replies to the written questionnaire that had been sent to her;

C. whereas the committee subsequently held a two-and-a-half-hour hearing with the candidate on 4 September 2019, at which she made an opening statement and then answered questions put by the members of the committee;

1. Delivers a favourable opinion on the Council recommendation to appoint Christine Lagarde as President of the European Central Bank;

2. Instructs its President to forward this decision to the European Council, the Council and the governments of the Member States.




Personal Details   Date of birth: January 1, 1956

Place of birth: Paris

Nationality: France


Professional Career


International financial institution


July 2011 until present   Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Washington, D.C.


One full term from July 2011 to July 2016, one partial term from July 2016 to September 2019


Domestic Public Sector


June 2007 to July 2011   Minister of Economy and Finance of France

French presidency of the European Union during the second semester of 2008

Ecofin Presidency

French Presidency of the G20 in 2011

Presidency of the G20 Finance


May 2007 to June 2007   Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of France


May 2005 to May 2007   Minister of Trade of France



Private Sector



October 1999 to   Global Chairman of international law firm Baker McKenzie, May 2005   Chicago, USA


October 1995 to   Member of the Global Executive Committee and Managing

October 1999   Partner, Baker McKenzie Paris office.


May 1981 to 1999   Attorney at law practicing predominantly in commercial, mergers and acquisitions, antitrust, labor law and arbitration for international corporate clients.


September 1980 to   Lecturer in contract law at Paris X Law School

September 1982




Master in Commercial Law, DESS in Commercial and Labor Law

Paris X Law School, 1980


Master with major in Economics and Finance, dissertation on the U.S. consumers movement, Ralph Nader, a Public Citizen.

Sciences Po Aix en Provence, 1977


Master in American Literature

Avignon Art College, 1977


Title : Lawyer with the Paris Bar


International Academic Recognition


Louvain La Neuve—Doctor honoris Causae

University of Montreal—Honorary doctorate

Universidad del Pacifico—Degree of honorary member

Washington College—Honorary degree

Claremont McKenna College—Honorary degree

Robinson College—Cambridge Honorary fellowship




Awards and Positions



2011 Participation on the Board of Directors of Sciences Po

2011 Atlantic Council's 2011 Global Citizenship Award

2011 Participation on the Board of Directors of the World Economic Forum

2011 European Institute's Transatlantic Leadership Award

2012 “Hipólito Unanue al Mérito Económico – Financiero” Award from Peru

2012 Officer in the National Order of the Legion of Honor

2012 Globalist of the Year Award from the Canadian International Council

2012 Honorary Degree from the University of Leuven

2012 2012 Leadership Award from the Union of Arab Banks

2013 Grand Officer of the National Order of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

2013 Participation on the Board of the Holton-Arms School Board of Trustees

2014 Inaugural Global Achievement Award from the Global Foundation

2014 Honorary Doctorate from the University of Montreal

2014 Participation on the Board of Governors of the Conference of Montreal

2014 2014 Diplomat of the Year Award from Foreign Policy Magazine

2015 Honor from Baker and McKenzie

2015 Holton-Arms School Honorary Chair for Fundraising Campaign

2015 Chair of the Honorary Committee for the US-Canada Tour of the Orchestre National de France

2016 Participation on the UN Secretary General's High Level Panel for Women's Economic Empowerment

2016 Global Leadership Award from the Columbia University School of International Public Affairs

2016 Mohamed Bin Rashid Medal of Honor for Women

2016 Woman of the Year and Lifetime Achievement Award from Glamour Magazine

2016 Degree of Honorary Member of Universidad del Pacifico

2017 Global Women's Leadership Award from the International Planning Committee of the Global Summit of Women

2017 Honorary Degree from Washington College

2018 Participation on the G7 Gender Equality Advisory Council

2018 Djibouti Commander in the National Order of June 27 Honor

2018 Honorary Degree from Claremont McKenna College

2018 Fellowship from the Institute of Banking

2018 Appeal of Conscience World Leader Award from the Appeal of Conscience Foundation

2019 Distinguished Alumna Award from the Holton- Arms School

2019 Distinguished International Leadership Award from the Atlantic Council

2019 Participation on the International Gender Champions Network and Co-Chair of Its Finance Hub

2019 Honorary Fellowship from Robinson College


Selected Publications

Breaking New Grounds in French Labor Law, 1982

Fragmentation Risks - Finance & Development, September 2012

Dare the Difference - Finance & Development, June 2013

Focus, Flexibility, Service - Finance & Development, September 2014

Path to Development -- Finance & Development, June 2015

The Voice of Youth -- Finance & Development, June 2017

A Regulatory Approach to Fintech - Finance and Development, March 2018 cryptoassets-and-fintech/straight.htm

A Global Imperative to Empower Women – Finance & Development March 2019 economy-lagarde.htm


Key Speeches

Global Risks Are Rising, But There Is a Path to Recovery, Jackson Hole, August 2011

Global Challenges in 2012 – Berlin, January 2012

Anchoring Stability to Sustain Higher and Better Growth, Zurich, May 2012

The Legacy of Charlemagne – Schäuble and European Integration, Aachen, May 2012

The Global Calculus of Unconventional Monetary Policies, Jackson Hole, August 2013

The Challenge Facing the Global Economy: New Momentum to Overcome a New Mediocre, Washington, D.C., October 2014

Daring the Difference: The 3 L’s of Women’s Empowerment, Washington, D.C., May 2014

Lifting the Small Boats, Brussels, June 2015

Not Your Grandmother’s IMF, Annual Meetings, Lima, October 2015

Demographic Changes and the Role of Fiscal Policy, MIT, March 2016

Addressing Corruption with Clarity, Brookings Institution, September 2017 clarity

A Time to Repair the Roof, Harvard University, October 2017

Central Banking and Fintech, A Brave New World, Bank of England, September 2017 brave-new-world

A Compass to Prosperity: The Next Steps of Euro Area Economic Integration, Berlin, March 2018 next-steps-of-euro-area-economic-integration

Age of Ingenuity: Reimagining 21st Century International Cooperation, Kissinger Lecture, Library of Congress, December 2018

Creating a Better Global Trade System, Portland, May 2018 system

Steer, Don’t Drift: Managing Risks to Keep the Global Economy on Course, IMF, October 2018

Winds of Change: The Case for New Digital Currency, Singapore Fintech Festival, November 2018

Belt and Road Initiative: Strategies to Deliver in the Next Phase, Beijing, April 2018 strategies-to-deliver-in-the-next-phase

Euro 2.0: Past, Present, and Future of Euro Area Integration, The Euro at 20 Conference, Dublin, June 2018

New Economic Landscape, New Multilateralism, Bali Annual Meetings, October 2018 multilateralism

The Case for the Sustainable Development Goals, Helen Alexander Lecture, IMF, September 2018 development-goals

The Financial Sector: Redefining a Broader Sense of Purpose, Tacitus Lecture, London, February 2019

The Euro Area: Creating a Stronger Economic Ecosystem, Banque de France, March 2019 stronger-economic-ecosystem.

Forging a Stronger Social Contract—the IMF’s Approach to Social Spending, Geneva, June 2019


Selected IMF Blog Posts

Getting Real on Meeting Paris Climate Change Commitments

Corporate Taxation in the Global Economy

When History Rhymes

Economic Gains from Gender Inclusion: Even Greater Than You Thought

Realizing the Potential of the G20 Compact with Africa

Ten Years After Lehman—Lessons Learned and Challenges Ahead

Addressing the Dark Side of the Crypto World

A Dream Deferred: Inequality and Poverty Across Generations in Europe

Fintech—Capturing the Benefits, Avoiding the Risks

Protecting Education and Health Spending in Low-Income Countries

To Boost Growth: Employ More Women

Migration: A Global Issue in Need of a Global Solution

Unlocking Latin America’s Huge Potential

Jobs and Growth: Supporting the European Recovery

A New Frontier for Kenya and Africa

What We Can Do to Improve Women’s Economic Opportunities

How to Get the Balance Right: Fiscal Policy at a Time of Crisis





A. Personal and professional background

1.  Please highlight the main aspects of your professional skills in monetary, financial and business matters and the main aspects of your European and international experience.

My professional experience spans over the last four decades and developed in this unique blend of private sector experience (as a practicing attorney and as an executive, at the American law firm Baker McKenzie 1980 to 2005), and of public policy leadership positions both domestically (as Trade Minister and Economy and Finance Minister from 2005 to 2011), and internationally (as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund from 2011 to present time). As French Minister and member of Council of the EU, I was moreover directly involved in EU decision-making.

In all these positions I have been exposed to business and financial matters. All my clients were large corporate entities when I was an attorney. I also gained substantial exposure to the financial community either when I was Minister of Economy and Finance or as Managing Director of the IMF. In all these positions I have operated in a domestic and international setting both in private and public sector; my working language has been English for the last 40 years or so with the exception of my six years in the French government.

I gained multifaceted experience ranging from tax and antitrust, labour and mergers and acquisition practice, to financial crisis management at the national and international level during the global financial crisis. My most recent professional experience as Managing Director of the IMF drew on the unparalleled triple mission (i) policy guidance and economic monitoring, (ii) crisis management and lending programmes, (iii) training and capacity building. In all these positions I had regular exchanges with policy-makers at the highest level, and was able to leverage those relationships for the benefit of the institutions I lead over the years. The professional experience thus gained has allowed me to develop a comprehensive understanding of the European and global economies as well as international standing. My experience of heading a big international organisation like the IMF further underlines my ability to listen to staff and stakeholders, shape a common and modern vision, take a collegial approach and strive to build consensus to achieve better outcomes.


2.  Do you have any business or financial holdings or any other commitments which might conflict with your prospective duties, and are there any other relevant personal or other factors that need to be taken account of by the Parliament when considering your nomination?

When becoming Minister of Trade in 2005, I had stepped down from any alternative and possibly conflicting positions such as a board member of ING or other Baker McKenzie-related entities including member of the board of the European Law Centre that I had set up in 1995.

Subsequently, I only accepted honorary positions such as advisory board member of Robinson College in Cambridge, and honorary board member of Holton Arms School in Washington, with the prior approval of the Ethics Committee of the IMF Board.

In addition,  I have consistently  defended  the cause of women whenever  there was discrimination and inequality. I intend to continue doing so and would expect that it would not impair my authority to speak on monetary matters nor would it distract me from discharging my duties to the best of my abilities. The same is true in relation to climate change issues and the protection of our environment.


3.  What would be the guiding objectives you will pursue during your eight-year mandate as President of the European Central Bank?

The primary objective of the ECB is to maintain price stability, and it will have to do so in a domestic and international environment that has significantly evolved over the last ten years. This environment, in its advanced economy parts, is characterised by moderate growth and low inflation. And while the financial sector is safer and better regulated than it was before the global financial crisis, slow growth and low inflation will be a challenge for financial intermediaries whose business models have been established in a dynamic-growth, high- inflation world. Furthermore, new and often disruptive technologies are transforming the way in which the economy operates. International cooperation is called into question, the environment is under threat of climate change and extreme weather developments and in many parts of the world populations are rapidly aging.

In this context, the ECB will need to continue to carefully monitor and analyse economic and financial developments in Europe and around the world. If appointed ECB President, I will foster such alertness to the new trends within the institution and encourage analysis to study them. I will seek to develop consensus within the Governing Council and would endeavour to communicate as clearly and simply as possible both the strategy and the policies of the ECB in a complex world bearing in mind its multi-layered and multi-cultural audiences ranging from European citizens to financial markets.

My ultimate premise is that the euro is a European public good that should continue to improve its international standing. A strong institutional architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) and a determined ECB focused on delivering price stability are key in this for the benefit of all.


B.  ECB monetary policy

4.  What is your assessment of the ECB's monetary policy as it has been implemented over the last 8 years? What changes, if any, would you promote when becoming President of the ECB?

The primary objective of the ECB is to maintain price stability in the euro area. The ECB has defined price stability to be a yearly positive inflation rate of below 2% and has declared that, in pursuing price stability, it will aim at an inflation rate below, but close to, 2% over the medium term.

The ECB has faced a very challenging environment over the past 8 years. In response to the financial and sovereign debt crises, the ECB took a number of measures that were pivotal in safeguarding the monetary policy transmission mechanism, supporting the euro area economy and ultimately steering inflation towards levels that are more in line with its policy aim.

In particular the easing measures deployed since June 2014, including targeted longer-term refinancing operations, negative rates, large-scale asset purchases and forward guidance, were successful in fending off the risks of deflation and redenomination at the height of the crisis. In June 2014, headline inflation was well below 1% and declining. Today, headline inflation is expected to be 1.3% in 2019, 1.4% in 2020 and 1.6% in 2021. The euro area has seen continuous economic growth for the past six years, and unemployment has fallen to the lowest levels since July 2008. The progressive tightening of the labour market is a signal that the policy measures of the ECB create the necessary conditions for inflation to keep strengthening.

Overall, considering the past eight years, I would say that the monetary policy of the ECB has been effective and successful. According to ECB calculations, over the period 2016-2020, growth and inflation would have been around 1.9 percentage points lower in the absence of the ECB’s actions taken between mid-2014 and mid-2018. At the same time, however, inflation has been persistently below levels that are consistent with the ECB’s inflation aim over recent years. The euro area economic expansion has also slowed of late and the risks surrounding the growth outlook are tilted to the downside. It is therefore clear that monetary policy needs to remain highly accommodative for the foreseeable future.

Looking ahead, it would be worth collecting lessons from the financial crisis as regards changes in the macroeconomic environment and inflation process. This could inform future reflections on the conduct and operational aspects of the ECB’s monetary policy, also considering how it can best support the general policies in the European Union, such as sustainable and inclusive growth, without prejudice to its primary objective of maintaining price stability. In addition, changes in the regulatory environment and in financial intermediation over recent years may warrant a review of the operational framework of monetary policy. Along with other central banks, the ECB made a lot of adjustments to the way it implements its monetary policy in response to the financial crisis and market practices. Consideration should, therefore, be given to the way monetary policy will be implemented in the longer run, including size and composition of central banks’ balance sheets and the choice of policy instruments.


5.  What are the main risks/opportunities ahead for the euro? What do you see as the most important risks and challenges facing the ECB?

The current macroeconomic and international environment presents a key near-term challenge for the ECB. The euro area growth momentum has slowed and the balance of risks to the growth outlook is tilted to the downside. Inflation remains subdued. It is therefore clear that monetary policy needs to remain highly accommodative for the foreseeable future. The ECB has a broad tool kit at its disposal and must stand ready to act. The precise mix of instruments deployed will have to depend on the nature of the shocks affecting the outlook for inflation as well as on financial market conditions. While I do not believe that the ECB has hit the effective lower bound on policy rates, it is clear that low rates have implications for the banking sector and financial stability more generally. So it will be essential to closely monitor whether adverse side effects may emerge in the future, the longer low interest rates are in place.

Furthermore, the ECB is faced with a growing number of structural challenges and will also have to manage expectations about what it can and cannot do to maintain trust in policies. While monetary policy is an effective tool for stabilising the economic cycle, it cannot lift countries’ longer-term growth potential. In other areas and where new challenges arise – ranging from digitalisation and cryptocurrencies, cyber security and anti-money laundering (AML) to climate change it will have to clarify how these affect its operations and how it can contribute.

As regards the euro, the institutional architecture which started to be put in place during the crisis – notably comprising the banking union, the European crisis management framework and the capital markets union (CMU) – remains incomplete. The euro area architecture also still lacks a central fiscal instrument for macroeconomic stabilisation. Progress in these areas will not only make the euro area more resilient, but also supports the effectiveness of monetary policy and the international role of the euro. One of the important lessons of the first twenty years of the euro is also that seizing the opportunities from the single currency requires sound national economic and fiscal policies, in the interest of both the Member States concerned and the euro area as a whole.


6.  The Federal Reserve and the Bank of Canada have recently announced a review of their monetary policy framework. Twenty years after the introduction of the euro, do you think the time has come for conducting a similar review at the ECB?

In general, the monetary policy strategy should always evolve in a way that best serves the ECB’s mandate. As quite some time has passed since the last strategy revie