IMF board chair controversy: NGO reaction to European Union proposal

Publié: 1st octobre 2010

The European Union, which holds eight seats out of twenty four on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board, has made an offer to rotate some of their IMF board seats with middle-income countries, rather than giving any up to developing countries. The offer comes following pressure from the US and developing countries for the EU to significantly reduce its IMF board presence. IMF governance reforms will be discussed at the IMF Annual Meetings in Washington DC next week.

Nuria Molina, Director of the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad) said: “European countries are failing to understand that the world has changed and that developing countries should also have a seat at the table. This short-sightedness further undermines the role of Europe as a player on the global scene.”

Oxfam spokesperson Pamela Gomez said: "It’s time developing countries had a say about the way the global economy is run. It's outrageous that current IMF quotas give Luxembourg more voting weight than the Philippines, which has almost 200 times the population. Europe needs to give up seats on the IMF Board, and the US must relinquish its power of veto."

Jesse Griffiths from the Bretton Woods project said: “European countries haven’t made an offer that will do anything for Africa, which urgently needs an extra chair at the IMF board. The Europeans need to vacate seats not just play musical chairs.”

Notes to Editors

There are 24 seats on the IMF board, but this needs renewal by vote every two years or else it drops back to 20 seats automatically. If this happens, the four smallest seats would lose their place - currently Argentina, Brazil, India and Rwanda.

** Eurodad (the European Network on Debt and Development) is a network of 59 non-governmental organizations from 19 European countries who work together on issues related to debt, development finance and poverty reduction.  
** Oxfam is an international confederation of 14 organizations working together in 99 countries to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice.
** The Bretton Woods Project is a London-based NGO that focuses on the World Bank and the IMF to challenge their power, open policy space, and promote alternative approaches. The project acts as a network hub in the UK and works with civil society – in Europe and internationally – to change the Bank and the Fund.


Pamela Gomez, Oxfam: +1 (0)202 4713067
Nuria Molina, Eurodad: +32 (0) 473410834
Jesse Griffiths, Bretton Woods Project: +44 (0) 7968041747