Peter Praet

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Peter Praet (born 20 January 1949 in Herchen near Eitorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) is executive board member and chief economist of the European Central Bank.[1][2] Within the board, Praet is widely considered to be centrist on monetary policy, perhaps even slightly “dovish”, meaning he is more likely to take growth prospects into account in the conduct of monetary policy than strict inflation “hawks” do.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Praet is half-Belgian and half-German, his father being from Belgium and his mother from Germany. He graduated from Université libre de Bruxelles, with a BA in Economics, a MA in Economics in 1972, and PhD in Economics in 1980.[4]


Praet was chief economist for Fortis Bank.[5] Between 1999 and 2000, he served as chief of staff to Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders.[6] In this capacity, his main task was to lay the ground for Reynders’ Eurogroup presidency in 2001 and oversee the country’s most ambitious tax-reform plan in decades.[7]

Praet was executive director of the National Bank of Belgium from 2000 to 2011. He was also a member of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and an alternate member of the Bank for International Settlements' Global Economy Meeting.[8]At the same time, he was professor of Monetary Economics at the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management.[9]

European Central Bank, 2011–present[edit]

Before being finally elected, Praet had already made several attempts to join the ECB Board. In 2004, his candidacy failed when the German, French, Italian and Spanish governments agreed that each should always have a national on the six-member board and chose José Manuel González-Páramo. In 2010, when Praet sought the bank’s vice-presidency, governments agreed that the position should go to a sitting governor of a central bank and not, as Praet then was, a director;[10] as a consequence, Vítor Constâncio was chosen to replace Lucas Papademos as vice-president.[11] In 2011, Praet replaced Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell; the other candidate for the position had been Elena Kohútiková.[12][13]

Praet's assignment as head of the economics department at the ECB, which prepares recommendations on interest rate decisions[14] superseded recommendations in favor of French and German counterparts.[15][16] It was the first time in the bank’s then 13-year history that the economics portfolio was given to a non-German.[17]

Other activities[edit]

  • Bruegel, Member of the Board of Trustees (2004-2011)
  • Brussels Finance Institute (BFI), Member of the Academic Advisory Board (2010-2011)
  • European Policy Centre (EPC), Member of the Board (2004-2007)