Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker marked his long-sought exit from the Eurogroup chair on Monday with his Dutch successor-in-waiting hailing new-found "trust" in the euro on financial markets.
After eight years mostly spent battling global financial headwinds that morphed into the eurozone debt crisis, Juncker admitted feelings of "relief" ahead of a carefully staged handover of the leadership the finance ministers of the 17 euro nations.
Heavily touted by Germany as a representative of the currency area's best-run, Triple A-rated economies, Dijsselbloem said he would present, at the request of a sceptical France, his vision of the Eurogroup's agenda this year.
Following discussion among the ministers of the 17 countries which share the euro, "we will hopefully come to a consensus on that and start tomorrow," he told reporters.
With tensions eased markedly on markets compared to six months ago when worries were rife about a Greek exit from the euro or Spain and Italy being forced into bailouts, the Dutchman said his job was all about "further restoring trust in the euro and the eurozone -- that's the main task in hand.
"There seems to be a new basis of trust," he said, freeing politicians to focus on policies that can help foster "growth and jobs" with Europe currently labouring under a high unemployment rate of almost 12 percent across the eurozone.
Dijsselbloem's assessment chimed with that of top economists.
"Markets are no longer betting that the ECB will commit suicide by letting major member countries implode," said Holger Schmieding of Germany's Berenberg Bank.
Even Greece, despite a sixth year of recession, is said by its public creditors to be on the mend.
International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde told Athens daily Kathimerini on Sunday that no additional measures would be necessary if Greece carried out its obligations under the re-written aid programme finally agreed in December.
But Dijsselbloem refused to talk about the actual agenda of the meeting that got underway in the evening, such as a bailout for Cyprus first requested in the summer but now seen as increasingly in jeopardy.
"I won't go into Cyprus," he said. "That will be discussed today and next month."
Originally expected to lead the agenda here, a formal request for aid from Nicosia appears to have gone backwards with the long shadow of Russian money-laundering hanging over negotiations.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble even questioned whether any bailout should even take place.
"We have to examine whether the problems in Cyprus represent a danger for the eurozone as a whole. That is one of the pre-conditions for the money coming from the euro rescue fund," he told Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
-- Vision for Eurogroup --
Dijsselbloem formally announced his candidacy on Thursday in the Dutch parliament, and after a flying visit that evening to Madrid to secure Spain's backing, faces one last hurdle on Monday night, which is to convince Paris with his manifesto for the job.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on his arrival that Paris would demand an "open debate", insisting that "we can't just resign ourselves to a Europe caught in a spiral of austerity and recession."
However, Juncker, who first tried to quit last summer but was persuaded to stay on after Berlin and Paris failed to place their ministers into the job, said "I don't think there are unsurmountable problems" for Dijsselbloem's appointment.
Dijsselbloem is left-leaning politically, which may soften the blow for Socialist French President Francois Hollande.
The Eurogroup was also due to tackle the thorny question of "legacy assets" -- in other words, which old banking debts can be considered eligible in the event of future recapitalisation of lenders by the eurozone rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism.
Tuesday's meeting of all 27 EU finance ministers, meanwhile, will focus on a bid by 11 eurozone states to launch a tax on financial transactions.