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Irish economist calls for staff quota system for ECB, fears Ireland will be left behind

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An ECB economist is calling on the central bank to open up a national quota-based employment process as it fears Irish representation will be left behind. The European Observatory is interested in the representation of nationalities within the ECB.

The European Central Bank (ECB) is facing calls to introduce nationality-based quotas for staff recruitment. It follows an Irish member of the ECB's board being called to Dublin to ensure a significant presence of Irish nationals among the bank's staff.

As the ECB's chief economist, Irishman Philip Lane, is set to retire in the next ten years, he is concerned that the number of his compatriots at the bank will dwindle, meaning Ireland will be less represented than it is at present.

He recently warned an Irish government minister of a possible decline in the presence of Irish staff within the bank, noting that fewer Irish nationals were applying to join the ECB.

Union representatives sent a letter to the ECB board about this warning.

“It is very concerning that a member of the board does not seek to achieve an overall balanced representation of nationalities within the ECB, but only addresses the representation of his own country/government,” the consulted letter indicated. Also quoted in the Financial Times.

He called for a mechanism to ensure balanced representation of nationalities within the organisation. Similar to what is already done at the European Commission, the system will include special efforts to recruit and promote people from under-represented nationalities.

However, the ECB said its recruitment process is based on “competence and merit” and does not rely on national quotas.

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Which countries are most represented on EBC staff?

The ECB, which employs more than 5,000 people, has drawn attention because 500 people are expected to retire in the next ten years, meaning there will be an opportunity to hire new staff.

Currently, Germans make up a quarter of the total workforce and nearly a third of management positions, while in France they make up only 7.7 percent of the workforce.

In the past, other representatives such as Carlos Bowles, vice president of the ECB staff union IPSO, have advocated for a national quota system, as POLITICO reports.

“Our aim is to adopt the system applied in other European institutions, which monitors the imbalance of nationality and takes adequate recruitment measures when the imbalance is significant,” he stressed.

“This is necessary to reduce national bias in ECB operations and ensure fair representation for all European nationalities. »

Meanwhile, as reported by the ECB, Lane regularly urged people from all countries to apply for jobs at the bank.

According to the ECB webpage, the institution implements various diversity and inclusion policies, taking into account the diversity of gender and nationality when selecting candidates with equivalent qualifications for a position.

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