Germany proposes Bundesbank official with supervision experience for European Central Bank job

BERLIN – Germany is to nominate a top Bundesbank official to fill a vacant seat on the European Central Bank’s executive board, an appointment that would make her the only woman at the top table.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet decided to put forward Sabine Lautenschlaeger, the vice-president of Germany’s central bank, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Wednesday. The nomination will need the approval of other European countries.

The vacancy arose after Germany’s previous representative on the ECB board, Joerg Asmussen, decided to join Merkel’s new coalition government as a deputy labour minister.

Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said earlier this week that the 49-year-old Lautenschlaeger has “great experience” of bank supervision, a job the ECB is taking on.

The ECB currently has no women either on the six-member executive board or on the wider 23-member governing council, which includes the heads of the 17 national central banks that make up the eurozone.

Last year, the nomination of Luxembourg’s Yves Mersch to the executive board ran into opposition in the European Parliament, which protested against the lack of women among the ECB’s top management. EU leaders overrode the legislature’s objections and appointed Mersch.