As the euro area approaches this milestone, it is a good time to
reflect on the main lessons from its first two decades and what they
mean for the EMU architecture reform agenda. What is the proper
balance between risk sharing and risk reduction? What are viable next
steps in advancing banking and capital markets union? What are the
main obstacles that will need to be overcome? As an outspoken advocate
for quality of national economic policy above speed of supranational
institutional reform, Minister Wopke Hoekstra can provide a special
perspective on these questions.
Wopke Hoekstra Minister of Finance of the Netherlands
After completing his legal studies, Wopke Hoekstra held commercial
positions at Shell in Berlin, Hamburg and Rotterdam. In 2006, after
obtaining his MBA, he began working for consultancy firm McKinsey
From 2011, he combined his role at McKinsey with membership of the
Senate of the States General. He was deputy leader of the Christian
Democratic Alliance (CDA) in the Senate and a member of the Senate
Committees for Finance, Security & Justice, Social Affairs &
Employment, and Foreign Affairs, Defence & Development Cooperation.
On 26 October 2017 Wopke Hoekstra was appointed Minister of Finance
in the third Rutte government.
Party political positions and outside activities
Wopke Hoekstra chaired the 2017 CDA electoral programme committee.
He also chaired the supervisory board of the National Maritime Museum,
was a member of the board of the Friends of the Hubrecht Institute and
an ambassador of the Princess Máxima Center for Pediatric Oncology.
Poul Mathias Thomsen Director of EUR, IMF
Poul M. Thomsen, a Danish national, has been Director of the European
Department at the International Monetary Fund since November 2014
supervising the Fund’s bilateral surveillance work for the 44
countries in the Department, its policy dialogue with EU institutions,
including the ECB, and its program discussions with European countries
with Fund supported programs.
As Director Mr. Thomsen also has the responsibility for the Fund’s
outreach activities in Europe and its interactions with European
senior officials. Before taking up his current position, Mr. Thomsen
had, as Deputy Director of the European Department, the primary
responsibility for the Fund’s programs with European countries
affected by the global financial crisis and the subsequent crisis in
the Euro Zone, including as mission chief for Iceland, Greece and
Portugal and as supervisor of the programs for Romania and Ukraine.
Before the global financial crisis, Mr. Thomsen gained extensive
knowledge of countries in Central and Eastern Europe, having worked on
the region continuously from 1987 to 2008, including as mission chief
for multiple countries in the region, head of the Fund’s Russia
Division during the 1998 Russian financial crisis, and Director of its
Moscow Office from 2001 to 2004.