In 1993, Wim Duisenberg, former president of the European Central Bank (1998-2003) introduced Jacques Attali i, former president of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (1991-1993) at the first Europe Lecture. The theme of this lecture was 'the costs of European reconstruction'.
President of the European Central Bank at time of the introduction of the euro, hence dubbed 'Mister Euro'. Duisenberg was a figure of great authority in international politics and finance. Prior to his appointment at the ECB Duisenberg had served as president of the Dutch National Bank and, in the late seventies, as minister of Finance. Duisenberg also served two short terms in the Dutch parliament and for a few years became vicepresident of one of the largest Dutch banks.
Duisenberg is remembered as a calm and realistic man working hard to combine his progressive ideals with the at times harsh reality and constraints of financial and monetary politics. He did so as minister of Finance, and again as president of the ECB where he proved himself an adament defender of a politically independant central bank.