International Monetary Fund (IMF)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was conceived at the Bretton Woods Conference in 1944, and currently has 190 member countries. Germany joined the Fund in 1952. The overarching aim of the IMF is to promote economic cooperation and stability in the international monetary system. This serves to promote global trade and thus secure income and employment. To this end, the IMF monitors its member countries' economic developments and economic policies and provides them financial assistance subject to conditionality in the event of balance of payments problems. As a monetary institution, the Fund uses its member countries' reserve assets for its financial assistance. This sets the IMF apart from other international financial institutions, which have to tap their members' budget funds or financial markets for funding.
Germany's IMF rights and duties are fulfilled jointly by the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Bundesbank. Responsibilities are set out in the German IMF Act; the Bundesbank discharges the financial rights and obligations of Germany's membership of the IMF, especially payment of Germany's quota and all financial transactions with the Fund resulting from Germany's membership. This also includes participation in the provision of funds by the IMF as part of economic policy adjustment programmes. The Bundesbank also has the task of cooperating with the IMF in its surveillance of Germany's economic and fiscal policies (Article IV consultations). In cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Bundesbank represents the German position on analyses conducted by IMF senior management in the Executive Board and Board of Governors. It participates in these bodies' decision-making process and in the process of coordinating European positions on IMF-related issues in EU committees. In carrying out these tasks, the Bundesbank always strives to assert its stability policy principles and preferences in the IMF.
The President of the Bundesbank is the German Governor on the IMF's Board of Governors. With a quota share of 5.6 %, Germany is currently the Fund's fourth-largest shareholder.