Eurodad response to selection of David Malpass as the new president of the World Bank Group


The selection of David Malpass as the new president of the World Bank is a missed opportunity to put an end to the gentlemen's agreement and strengthen the legitimacy of the World Bank. 

On Friday 5 April, David Malpass was selected as the new president of the World Bank Group. Mr. Malpass was the only candidate for the post, after having been nominated by US President Donald Trump.

Commenting on the selection, Maria José Romero, Policy and Advocacy Manager at the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), said:

"It is a missed opportunity that the selection process wasn’t competitive nor transparent. On the contrary, since the World Bank’s founding, there has been a gentlemen’s agreement where the United States and its European allies work behind closed doors to ensure a U.S. citizen leads the World Bank, in exchange for the European leadership of the International Monetary Fund. This needs to change, as part of a larger effort to strengthen the legitimacy of the World Bank.

"Now that Mr. Malpass has been approved as the new president of the World Bank, we are very keen on seeing what priorities he will bring to the institution. We urge Mr. Malpass to commit to accelerating efforts to address growing inequalities, climate change, and social justice challenges, to show that he truly supports the Bank’s mandate to end extreme poverty and promote shared prosperity for everyone, including in every developing country.

"Against a backdrop of increasing polarisation and ongoing economic challenges, growing inequalities continue to take root. We see governments ignoring lessons learnt from the financial crisis, while we are stumbling into the next one. These trends are exacerbated by the effects of climate change, which are threatening the livelihoods of the poorest around the globe. We hope to see a strong commitment from the new World Bank president which focuses less on crowding in private finance and creating markets and more on the assurance that the realisation of citizens’ rights, including their rights to essential services, are fulfilled. More than ever, the success of the next president’s tenure depends upon his willingness to critically assess the role the Bank can play in challenging the failed economic model that has led us here.

"It is crucial to raise the accountability bar for the president. We will continue to hold governments and the Bank’s shareholders to account. This is all the more important given that the World Bank operates in developing countries, and has the strongest impact in the poorest of them."