The Deutsche Bundesbank, together with 17 national central banks of the ESCB, and the European Commission launch EU-funded programme to support central banks and banking supervisory agencies in EU candidate countries and potential candidates from the Western Balkans

The Deutsche Bundesbank, together with 17 national central banks of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB), have today launched an EU-funded programme for the benefit of the Bank of Albania, the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Banking Agency of Republika Srpska, the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo, the Central Bank of Montenegro, the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia and the National Bank of Serbia. The aim of the programme is to further strengthen the institutional capacities of the final beneficiary institutions, notably by further enhancing their analytical and policy tools and by transferring the best international and European standards into national practices. The European Union (EU) has allocated €2 million to the programme from its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II).

On the occasion of the first Programme Steering Committee meeting held today at the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB), the Programme Manager of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Mr Martin Dinkelborg, underscored: “With this joint initiative, the central banking community in the EU stands ready to support our colleagues in the Western Balkans in their endeavour to introduce the highest standards, for the benefit of their countries and people.” Ms Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald, Director of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank’s Economic Analysis and Research Department, highlighted the importance of the regional programme for the region’s continuing prosperous economic development. In addition, she welcomed the collaborative approach taken by the 18 national central banks and the ECB contributing to the programme. Mr Andreas Papadopoulos, Advisor on Economic Governance in the European Commission’s Directorate General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, commented: “The programme aims at improving the economic governance in the Western Balkans and, in a longer-term perspective, at supporting their institutions for the eventual membership in the EU, in this case the ESCB.”

Over the course of the next 24 months, the Deutsche Bundesbank, together with the participating 17 national central banks and with contributions by the ECB, will organise an intensive regional training programme on key central banking and supervisory issues consisting of 20 training events with capacity for up to 360 training places. The training will focus particularly on the areas of banking supervision, financial stability, financial consumer protection and financial inclusion, recovery and resolution, monetary policy, payment systems, statistics, compliance and EU integration, governance policies, accounting and internal audit, and will be provided by experts from the national central banks of the ESCB and the ECB. There will also be two policy workshops for decision-makers on resolution of non-performing loans and governance issues. Last but not least, in addition to the regional training events the programme will finance the implementation of specific bilateral measures to be defined in the meetings of the Programme Steering Committee.

The programme is being implemented by the Deutsche Bundesbank in partnership with the the Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique, Българска народна банка (Bulgarian National Bank), Česká národní banka, the Bank of Greece, the Banco de España, the Banque de France, Hrvatska narodna banka, the Banca d’Italia, Lietuvos bankas, the Magyar Nemzeti Bank, De Nederlandsche Bank, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Narodowy Bank Polski, the Banco de Portugal, Banca Naţională a României, Banka Slovenije and Národná banka Slovenska. The European Central Bank will contribute to the implementation of the project.