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Monetary policy decisions

All monetary policy decisions within the Eurosystem are taken by the Governing Council of the ECB, which is the ECB’s highest decision-making body. It consists of six members of the Executive Board and the governors of the national central banks of 19 euro area countries. After Lithuania joined common currency in 2015, the voting system was modified, and the so-called rotation system was introduced. Rotation system is based on the fact that euro area countries are divided into groups according to the size of their economies and their financial sectors. To determine which national central bank Governor belongs to which group, a ranking was established. The Governors from first five countries – currently, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands – share four voting rights. All others (15 since Croatia joined on 1 January 2023) share 11 voting rights. The Governors take turns using the rights on a monthly rotation. This means that the governor of the NBS also co-decides on monetary policy.

The Governing Council of the ECB assesses economic, monetary, and financial developments and takes monetary policy decisions at regular meetings. These meetings are followed by publishing a statement of the taken decisions and a press conference with the President of the ECB and the Vice-President, who give detailed reasons for these decisions and answer journalists’ questions. The statement is published on the ECB’s official website at 1.45 pm, followed by the press conference starting at 2.30 pm and usually lasting about an hour.

The most important decisions of the Governing Council of the ECB include decisions on interest rates as well as decisions on the other monetary policy instruments. An interest rate decision does not necessarily imply a change in the rate; the Governing Council may decide to keep interest rates unchanged.

The monetary policy stance is decided regularly on the basis of a published schedule (once a month until 2014, every 6 weeks from 2015), but the Governing Council may take decisions at any time, even outside of scheduled meetings. All monetary policy decisions taken are published publicly.

Decisions over the years:

Last updated on 2 Jan 2023