EU Economy and Finance Ministers have backed the current managing director of the International Monetary Fund

Kristalina Georgieva, re-elected by the EU as managing director of the IMF

La directora gerente del Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), Kristalina Georgieva
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva - AFP/STEFANI REYNOLDS

This was confirmed by the Belgian Finance Minister, Vincent Van Peteghem, who holds the rotating presidency of the Council, after noting the political support for her candidacy at the informal breakfast meeting of European finance ministers held in Brussels. 

The decision was taken at the informal breakfast meeting of European Finance Ministers. "I am pleased to announce that all the European Member States have expressed their support for Kristalina," confirmed the Belgian Finance Minister, Vincent van Peteghem, after the breakfast. All ministers, he explained, expressed this unanimous EU support as "a clear signal of confidence in Kristalina, but also of the importance of her position at the IMF". 

Van Peteghem highlighted the "strong leadership" shown by the Bulgarian economist in the last two years, "especially during an unprecedented crisis" and recalled that she has also given support to all members. "In the last two weeks I have discussed this with my colleagues and we have all underlined the importance of this position, especially in these times of global turbulence," he added, before explaining that her reappointment would be formally discussed at the IMF in Washington. 

The former vice-president of the European Commission and European Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budgets in the Juncker Commission between 2014 and 2016 had already received the explicit and public support of Germany, Spain and France to continue at the head of the institution. The support of three of the EU's largest economies is of particular significance given the unwritten pact that the IMF must be headed by a European citizen, while the World Bank must be headed by someone supported by the United States. 

Europe and the US together account for about half of the voting shares, so any alternative that does not meet with their approval would probably be out of the question. 

The 70-year-old Bulgarian politician and economist's current term as IMF managing director expires next September and Georgieva has already expressed her willingness to serve a second term. 

During her first five years at the helm of the Washington-based institution, Georgieva has had to steer the institution through the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing trade and geopolitical fragmentation.