The Minister for Finance has decided to nominate Central Bank Governor Philip Lane as a candidate to replace the European Central Bank's chief economist Peter Praet.

Mr Praet's term at the ECB ends at the end of May.

Paschal Donohoe said that Professor Lane's outstanding economic, financial and policy making record ideally position him to take a seat at the Executive Board of the European Central Bank. 

He said that Professor Lane's current position as Chair of the Advisory Technical Committee of the European Systemic Risk Board and his previous appointments as Chair of the High-Level Task Force on Safe Assets and Chair of the Advisory Scientific Committee, demonstrate the standing he is held in at European level.

"I am delighted to nominate Governor Lane to the Executive Board of the ECB. Philip is well recognised as a person of calibre and is held in high esteem across Europe," Mr Donohoe said. 

Peter Praet, 70, has been the chief economist of the ECB since June 2011 and his term ends on May 31. 

Peter Praet's term at the ECB ends in May

Euro zone finance ministers will invite applications for his replacement today and decide on a candidate at their next meeting, on February 11.

No other candidates has been officially put forward yet for the job. 

If more are and a vote among euro zone finance ministers is needed, the winner must get what a reinforced qualified majority - at least 14 out of 19 voting in favour, representing at least 65% of the population of the euro zone. 

The candidate will then go for a hearing in the European Parliament, which issues its non-binding opinion. Negative parliamentary opinions have been ignored in the past. 

The candidate will be formally appointed by EU leaders at a summit on March 21-22, in a qualified majority vote, reflecting the economic size and populations of the voting countries.