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International central bank cooperation

The ECB’s international central bank cooperation reflects its role as a major central bank in the global economy and financial system, and as an EU institution. Cooperation focuses on: 

Central banks of G20 emerging market economies

The main objective of this cooperation is to enhance mutual awareness and understanding of the ECB’s and partner central banks’ policies and the underlying motivation and analysis. It reflects the growing role of G20 emerging market economies in the global economy and financial system.

The ECB therefore regularly cooperates with these partners, often on the basis of memoranda of understanding, such as those with the central banks of China (2008), Turkey (2012), India (2015) and Brazil (2016).

Global and regional institutions

Cooperation with global and regional institutions involved in international cooperation helps disseminate the ECB’s policy messages and technical expertise throughout different regions of the world.

The ECB maintains structured relations with other main providers in the area of central bank cooperation, both at the global level - the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) - and with regional structures such as the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), the Association of African Central Banks (AACB), the Center for Latin American Monetary Studies (CEMLA), the South-East Asian Central Banks Research and Training Centre (SEACEN) and the Gulf Monetary Council (GMC).

Central banks of EU candidate countries and potential candidates

The ECB supports institution-building and best practices in central banks of countries with EU accession perspectives. It helps these institutions with their preparations to join the ESCB (which is a requirement once their countries have become EU Member States).

International central bank cooperation is an important tool for strengthening the institutional capacity of central banks to ensure compliance with EU and international central banking standards.

In addition, the ECB responds to ad hoc requests for international cooperation from central banks worldwide.

International central bank cooperation comprises the exchange of expertise, the sharing of best practices and capacity-building. It includes a wide range of activities, such as workshops and seminars, staff secondments, expert visits and training programmes.

The aim of this cooperation is to strengthen relations with central banks outside the EU and foster sound central banking practices, thereby contributing to price and financial stability worldwide. Cooperation also helps the ECB explain its policies in an international context.

The Working Group on Central Bank Cooperation coordinates international cooperation activities within the ESCB. It comprises experts from the ECB and national central banks and operates under the auspices of the International Relations Committee of the ESCB.

In December 2017 the working group published a best practice document outlining the rationale behind, and the principles underpinning, the ESCB’s international central bank cooperation activities, as well as examples of the format they take.

  • International central bank cooperation: ESCB best practices

In February 2020 the working group provided further insights into its approaches to evaluating international cooperation activities. These insights are the results of ESCB-wide discussions among staff members involved in these activities.

  • Approaches to Evaluating the International Cooperation Activities of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB)

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