Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a former French finance minister, is the European Union's nomination to be head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Mr Strauss-Kahn is expected to take over at the IMF in October
Mr Strauss-Kahn is tipped to succeed Rodrigo de Rato, who leaves in October.
The IMF is traditionally led by a European, while the World Bank head is chosen by the United States.
European Union finance ministers also decided that in future, nominations for the IMF chief will be opened up to candidates from outside Europe.
Some countries, including Britain, felt that the current round of nominations should be opened to non-Europeans, but that did not happen because the US had already been allowed to choose Robert Zoellick as the new World Bank chief.
He resigned as French finance minister in 1999 following corruption allegations, of which he was later cleared
He is a front-runner to oppose Nicolas Sarkozy in the 2012 presidential election
As finance minister, he oversaw the part-privatisations of France Telecom and Air France
The IMF provides financial assistance and advice to many of the world's poorest countries and is charged with maintaining global financial stability.
Some poorer countries complain that the IMF, like the World Bank, is dominated by a handful of rich countries and that its economic solutions are too rigid.
French finance minister Christine Lagarde said that "we are very
attentive ... [to] the question of balance and respecting emerging
Socialist finance minister
Mr Strauss-Kahn was finance minister under the socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin from 1997 to 1999 and played a key role in the introduction of the euro.
He was also one of the defeated candidates for the Socialists' nomination in this year's presidential elections, and had been tipped to challenge Ms Royale again after her defeat by Mr Sarkozy.
There has been some concern that if this nomination goes through, the heads of the European Central Bank, the World Trade Organization, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and the IMF will all be French.