Eurozone finance ministers on Monday named Philip Lane, the governor of the central bank of Ireland, future chief economist of the European Central Bank (ECB), has been told by several officials of the Eurozone the euro zone.

He will succeed Belgium's Peter Praet, whose term expires on May 31. Philip Lane, 49, has been head of Ireland's central bank since 2015. Under his tenure, Ireland has enjoyed solid economic growth thanks to European Union (EU) assistance, staggered from 2011 to 2014, which allowed to overcome its worst crisis since the Second World War.

Key period for the ECB

He was the only candidate for the succession of Peter Praet and his appointment is to be officially confirmed by EU Heads of State and Government at the March Council. Considered to be accommodating and in line with President Mario Draghi's thinking, Philip Lane will have to prepare monetary policy decisions, making him one of the most influential leaders of the central bank. The Irish will integrate the ECB in a pivotal period for the latter; the institution must indeed face the challenge of its objective of normalizing its monetary policy, which would pass through its first rate hike for more than ten years, due to the marked slowdown in growth in the euro area and low inflation.

In addition, the president, Mario Draghi, will leave the institution at the end of his mandate at the end of October; one of the other members of the board, the Frenchman Benoit Coeuré, is due to leave in December. Finally, almost a third of the Board of Governors, which has 25 seats between the Executive Board members and the governors of the national central banks, will be renewed this year, an exceptionally high proportion. The governors of the central banks of Belgium, Austria, Estonia, Slovakia and Cyprus should indeed be replaced this year.