The Deutsche Bundesbank has worked with other central banks since it was founded in 1957. The Bundesbank maintains close contacts with the central banks of the European Union, which since 1999 have formed the European System of Central Banks, and with interested foreign central banks and monetary authorities. The Bundesbank's Technical Central Bank Cooperation offers these central banks an extensive range of training and advisory services.
Following the political transformation in eastern Europe and in the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, demand for technical central bank cooperation activities in this region was high. These countries were faced with the challenge of implementing the transformation from a planned economy to a market economy at their central banks as well. Strengthening central bank systems geared to a market-economy system represents a decisive factor within the reform process and contributes to the economic stabilisation of these countries.
In the light of these developments, the countries of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union continue to represent the main focus of the Bundesbank's technical central bank cooperation activities. The Bundesbank also plays an active role in the growth regions of South and South East Asia as well as in Africa and Latin America, albeit to a lesser extent.
The Technical Central Bank Cooperation unit was restructured in 1991 within what was then the Bundesbank's "Foreign" department. The division was created in 1994 and transformed into a centre on 1 July 2005. Over 25 members of staff work at the Centre for Technical Central Bank Cooperation. They coordinate and manage all of the Bundesbank's technical central bank cooperation activities. In 1992, 34 technical central bank cooperation activities were conducted with 270 participants. By 2012, this number had already risen to over 300 activities with a total of approximately 3,700 participants from 87 countries. This shows that the Bundesbank has earned itself an excellent reputation internationally in the field of technical central bank cooperation. Advisers from various fields either carry out these activities themselves or direct the activities in consultation with the respective Bundesbank experts. They are supported by a well functioning team of project managers who process queries from international partner banks and organise the activities. The Centre draws on the collective expertise of staff at Central Office in Frankfurt am Main, the Regional Offices and the Bundesbank's University of Applied Sciences. In future, cooperation with other German authorities and institutions will be stepped up to accommodate demand.
The Bundesbank’s activities focus on training senior employees from other central banks and project consultation. The objective of this cooperation is to transfer knowledge and promote staff potential at the partner central banks. In doing so, the Bundesbank contributes to the stability of market economy structures and the global financial system.
The scope of the Bundesbank's training and advisory activities is wide-ranging and is tailored to the demand of the partner central banks. In terms of content, technical central bank cooperation covers the entire economic, operational and legal area of modern central banking business issues, as well as all issues relating to banking supervision. Firstly, the Bundesbank offers international central banking courses on certain central bank-related issues in Germany. Secondly, it also conducts a large number of bilateral activities. This may take the form of specialist courses in Germany, advisory services and specialist courses on-site in the partner countries, or video conferences depending on what is agreed with the partners to be most effective.
The new EU member states and the current accession candidates are the Bundesbank's strategic partners as they make their way towards joining the euro area and the EU, respectively. The Bundesbank has therefore been involved, since 2004, in the EU-financed twinning projects which aim to bring the institutions in these countries up to EU standards. In addition, the Bundesbank participates in various projects coordinated by the ECB and financed by the EU, and in which other ESCB central banks are involved besides the Bundesbank itself. These projects, which are financed by third parties, are likewise coordinated at the Centre for Technical Central Bank Cooperation, and already make up one-third of its business.