On Friday, European Union voted for Kristalina Georgieva, over former Netherlands finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, to head the International Monetary Fund.
The 28 nation bloc seemed confident about its Bulgarian candidate given as her rich experience in the field. Georgieva has been managing affairs at World Bank since 2017, as its chief executive officer. She also worked at the institution from 1993 to 2010, where she joined as an environmental economist, and later rose to vice president and corporate secretary in 2008. Besides, she has also served as European commissioner for international cooperation, humanitarian aid and crisis response and the European Commission’s vice president for budget and human resources.
Expressing gratitude for her nomination, she wrote on Twitter, “It is an honor to be nominated as a candidate for the role of Managing Director of the #IMF. After consulting with the Chief Ethics Officer, I have requested administrative leave and will relinquish my responsibilities as @WorldBank CEO for the nomination period.”
IMF board needs to choose the new head by October 4 and the window for different countries to send their nominations closes on September 6. Lagarde would officially step down on September 12.
France has openly claimed at multiple forums that the Europe needs to put ahead a great candidate to lead the one of the world’s biggest financial institutions. Last month, French finance minister Bruno Le Maire told reporters, on the sidelines of an economics and business conference, that it is in the interests of Europe ‘to keep the leadership at the IMF’.
In the 73-year long history of IMF, all of its 11 heads were from Europe, where as World Bank, its sister organisation, has been always managed by a US citizen. It seems like an unsaid decade-old understanding between the two continents. The custom has been kept intact, as visible with the recent appointment of David Malpass, an American, as a World Bank president.
The two institutions, considered as the financial pillars of global economy, were created on July 22, 1944 towards the end of World War II to help recover the wounded economies of European nations and Japan. Today, the two provide financial assistance to all its 189 member nations.