The Governing Council is the supreme decision-making body of the ECB.
The Governing Council is the supreme decision-making body of the ECB. It comprises the six members of the Executive Board (President, Vice-President and four other members), plus the governors of the national central banks of the EU Member States which have adopted the euro (currently 19 governors).
The Governing Council makes the strategically most important decisions for the Eurosystem: it is responsible for formulating monetary policy for the euro area and establishing the guidelines to be followed by the NCBs of the Eurosystem in the implementation of monetary policy.
The Governing Council formulates monetary policy for the euro area with full independence from political interference. As members of the Governing Council, the governors of the national central banks play a crucial role in decisions relating to monetary policy.
This supranational responsibility is underlined by voting rules of the Council whereby each member has one vote. Since 2015, voting rights in the Governing Council are exercised according to a rotation system.
The governors of the national central banks of the Eurosystem participate in the Governing Council in a personal capacity as individuals and not as representatives of the respective Member States.
In the context of the ECB’s new responsibilities related to banking supervision, the Governing Council adopts decisions relating to the general framework under which supervisory decisions are taken, and adopts the complete draft decisions proposed by the Supervisory Board under the non-objection procedure.
The Governing Council usually meets twice a month at the ECB’s premises in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The Governing Council assesses economic and monetary developments and takes its monetary policy decisions every six weeks. At the other meetings, the Council discusses mainly issues related to other tasks and responsibilities of the ECB and the Eurosystem. To ensure the separation of the ECB’s monetary policy and other tasks from its supervisory responsibilities, separate meetings of the Governing Council are held.
The monetary policy decision is publicly announced in a press release and explained in detail at a press conference held every six weeks. The President, assisted by the Vice-President, chairs the press conference.