Tuomas Saarenheimo has been the President of the Euro Working Group (EWG) since April 2020. The EWG prepares the meetings of the Eurogroup and coordinates on euro-area specific matters. It is composed of senior representatives of the euro-area member states of the Economic and Financial Committee, the European Commission and the European Central Bank. Tuomas Saarenheimo also serves as the President of the Economic and Financial Committee, which prepares the ECOFIN Council and promotes policy coordination among EU member states.
The Recovery and Resilience Facility, the main spending vehicle of the NGEU package, is up and running. Pre-financing is being disbursed, and the first performance-based disbursements are expected by the end of the year. But how is this €723.8 billion facility governed? Who determines how the money is used, and who will assess the performance? How does the facility fit into the EU institutional framework, who is empowered and who is not? What are the practical realities and challenges of operating it and what are the expectations for its future?
Until April 2020, he was Permanent Under-Secretary at the Ministry of Finance, Finland, responsible for International and Financial matters. He joined the Ministry in 2013. In this position he was member of the EU Economic and Financial Committee, the Eurogroup Working Group, the Board of Directors of the European Stability Mechanism, and the Board of Directors of the European Financial Stability Facility. Prior to joining the Ministry of Finance, Mr Saarenheimo served several spells at the Bank of Finland, ending as Chief Economist and Head of Monetary Policy and Research. He has also held positions as Executive Director for Nordic and Baltic countries at the International Monetary Fund, as National Expert at the European Commission and as researcher at the University of Helsinki. Mr Saarenheimo graduated in 1989 from the University of Helsinki, where he also gained PhD in Economics in 1994.