The 17-member Eurogroup has appointed Jeroen Dijsselbloem as its president for a term of two and a half years. The announcement was made after a meeting of Eurogroup finance ministers late Monday. Dijsselbloem, 47, is Finance Minister of The Netherlands, and will retain his post whilst chairing the Eurogroup. He is a member of the Dutch Labour party. He succeeds Jean-Claude Juncker, who has chaired the Eurogroup since 1 January 2005 and was its first-ever permanent president. Speaking at a press conference, the Dutch minister said he is convinced that he can contribute to \"good collective decision making.\" \"Only together we can surpass the current problems. The euro area is facing challenging times and 2013 will turn out to be a crucial year,\" he said. The President of the Eurpean Union, Herman Van Rompuy, in a statement expressed his confidence that Dijsselbloem is the \"right choice.\" \"I wish him every success in his work and look forward to cooperating closely with him,\" he said. Van Rompuy also paid gratitude to the outgoing president of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker who is also the Prime Minister of Luxembourg. \"Not only was he the very first president of the Eurogroup but he also led it during the most difficult period,\" added Van Rompuy.