The Economic Affairs Committee of the European Parliament (ECON) gave the green light this Wednesday to the candidacy of the German Claudia Buch to preside over the Single Banking Supervision Mechanism. After a few months of much noise, complaints from MEPs to the European Central Bank and although they had clearly expressed their preference for the Spanish Margarita Delgado, deputy governor of the Bank of Spain, the result has been close, but sufficient: 29 votes in favor, 23 against and two abstentions. This step, with support from the popular, liberals and part of the socialists and the vote against the left, the conservatives and part of the liberals as well, is not a sufficient condition, but in itself necessary. The plenary session of the chamber will have to rule at the next session in Strasbourg, but it should no longer pose any problem.
Last week, the Governing Council of the ECB opted for Buch instead of Delgado, who was the favorite of the European Parliament by far, due to purely technical criteria. The countries, however, did not listen. The unrest in ECON was evident, both due to the virtues of the Spanish, which they considered far superior, and due to the struggle for competencies, influence and power within the framework of the Union.
The process, marked by the rules, began with the opening of the period to present candidacies. There were four, but the ECB selection committee ruled out two. Buch and Delgado passed by ‘exam’ of the European Parliament, but the final decision corresponded to Bank Executive Committee. However, the person designated still had to go through two procedures: approval by Parliament and ratification by the European Council, the heads of State and Government.
The latter, being also German, has never seemed like a stumbling block. But the deputies were upset and wanted to vindicate her role. But as has happened time and time again in the last decade, after the barking there never comes a bite. Last week there was talk of scandal, indignation and fury. Many groups and representatives promised a fierce battle, to set an example, to veto Buch. But this has not been the case, repeating what has been seen over and over again in the nomination or approval of economic positions. Deputies have preferences, but they almost always receive and comply with the instructions of their parties or governments or defend national interests.
The movement for the presidency of the MUS is part of a larger operation. The economy ministers of the 27 have to decide in the coming weeks who will succeed the German Werner Hoyer at the head of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and the acting first vice president of Spain, Nadia Calvino, is the favorite. He failed to support his appointment last Saturday during the Ecofin in Santiago because the issue did not even come to the table, since his rivals, and especially the Danish Margrethe Vestager, considered that it was not fair to make a decision when it was played ‘at home’ of the Galician But she is the favorite. And for some Member States it was too much for two Spanish women to achieve relevant positions simultaneously.