Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform Paschal Donohoe has put his name forward for consideration to become the next president of the Eurogroup, if the efforts to form a new government are successful.

The Eurogroup is made up of the finance ministers of the euro zone countries. The ministers will vote on who becomes the next president at their meeting on 9 July.

In a letter to the Secretariat of the Eurogroup sent today and published this evening, Mr Donohoe has said he will be a 'bridge-builder' if elected to the position of Eurogroup Chair. 

He will act in "solidarity and in the common interest of the Eurozone", adding that his vision is for an "effective, inclusive and transparent Eurogroup" that will be "an engine for economic recovery, prosperity and jobs."

He says a key challenge will be to avoid an uneven recovery from the impact of Covid-19 across member states.

He says that is why he supported going beyond "normal economic policy or practices" and that this was one of the lessons Ireland learned from the last crisis.  

Speaking as he arrived for a Cabinet meeting at Dublin Castle this afternoon, Mr Donohoe said he had been a member of the Eurogroup for the last three years.

He said he had "built up a very significant amount of experience within that group and here at home in Ireland".

Minister Donohoe said if a government is formed over the weekend, he will speak to all of his colleagues in the EU and ask them "to consider and support his candidacy" for the role.

Mr Donohoe said that if elected, he will work to chart a common way forward on building the European recovery, strengthening the euro zone economy, and promoting sustainable and inclusive growth for member states and their citizens. 

"I would bring to this task four years' experience as Minister Public Expenditure and Reform and Minister for Finance, having also served as Minister for European Affairs for Ireland - a small member state that has been a programme country but which has also seen its economy and society transformed beyond recognition through EU membership," the minister added.

Luxembourg's Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna has also announced his bid to lead the Eurogroup. 

Spain had already declared its Economy Minister Nadia Calvino would be a candidate for the job.

Today is the deadline for candidates to submit their nomination. The head of the Eurogroup must be a serving finance minister.

The head of the Eurogroup can play a key role in chairing meetings and setting the agenda for the 19 members of the single currency zone to ensure economic policy is co-ordinated as much as possible.

The immediate task will be to help organise the response to the coronavirus crisis which has devastated the European economy.