“The merit has been crushed by political pressure” and thus “a dangerous precedent” is created. These are the comments that the experts let slip in Brussels after the Italian candidate for the presidency of ESMA (the Agency for the supervision of financial markets), Consob commissioner Carmine Di Noia, was defeated by the Anglo- German Verena Ross, heavily “sponsored” by the Minister of Finance and Bundeskanzler candidate of the SPD, Olaf Scholz.
For weeks the Italian government (which thus records a defeat at the community level) has tried to weave a web of alliances to obtain the appointment considering that our country has been (even if the president of the European Parliament expresses) suffering from a lack of exponents of « weight “in the Community institutions. This is why the Minister of Economy, Daniele Franco, during the whole of 2021 has spent himself in the first person to create a favorable climate for Di Noia. The moral suasion was not enough. Yet in the early stages the goal seemed to have been achieved. In the first phase of curriculum selection, the Italian candidate was the most qualified exponent to fill the role. The ambassadors in Brussels of the 27 countries of the Union were about to basically give the green light before Berlin managed to move the balance by pressing for the curriculum of Verena Ross, who had held the role of director general of ESMA for ten years to be evaluated. . Among other things, before his appointment in Brussels he had “served” the British Financial Markets Authority and the Bank of England. This is due to the dual nationality that today raises some questions about the advisability of appointing a professional not hostile to the British to such an important position who, after Brexit, can be considered to all intents and purposes “adversaries” on the markets.
Instead, Germany managed to insinuate the issue of gender equality as a “Trojan horse” to induce a surplus of reflection on the appointment to the ESMA. Italy pointed out that another woman, Frenchwoman Natasha Cazenave, took Ross’s place. Just as the Dutch Petra Hielkema is at the helm of Eiopa, the Insurance Authority. Nothing to do: it is too important for Germany to plant another flag in view of the political elections. The disappointment of the Italian MEPs is obvious. “A bad page that once again underlines the excessive power and weight of Germany in Europe to the detriment of the other Member States”, commented Raffaele Fitto, co-president of the Ecr group in the European Parliament. The League also protested, while no complaints from Palazzo Chigi. Ross’s appointment must in any case be approved by the EU Council and the European Parliament.