Ex-IMF chief Lagarde wins EU approval to lead ECB

Lagarde-Christine

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved the recommendation of Christine Lagarde as the new head of the European Central Bank (ECB) in a plenary vote on Tuesday.

The MEPs voted 394 in favour, 206 against and 49 abstentions after a debate was held on Lagarde’s suitability for the position in the Parliament’s plenary in Strasbourg.

The European Parliament gives a non-binding opinion on whether or not a candidate is suitable to fill the role of the ECB President. The final decision will be made by the European Council in October, according to Xinhua news agency.

Lagarde, previously head of the International Monetary Fund, was nominated to replace Mario Draghi as the ECB head. The latter’s term will end on November 1.

French MEPs Jordan Bardella, Manon Aubry and Aurore Lalucq criticized Lagarde for not being present during the debate on her appointment in Strasbourg. Bardella described it as “deplorable”.

Lagarde’s new role as the President of the ECB makes her a key figure in the Eurosystem. She will set monetary policy for the euro area as the ECB’s main goal is to maintain price stability in the euro area while preserving the purchasing power of the single currency.

She has stated that she intends to maintain continuity with the policy line of her predecessor but also said she is also ready to innovate and change the monetary policy toolbox if necessary.

Lagarde became the first woman to become the Managing Director of the IMF when she was appointed in 2011. She served two terms as IMF chief but resigned in September 12 in light of her new role as President of the ECB.