ECB publishes first-ever monetary policy meeting account

Boardroom of the Governing council of the ECB ©Robert Metsch / ECB
From this year on, the Eurosystem will regularly publish accounts of monetary policy meetings held by the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB). Four weeks following its first meeting of the year, held on 22 January 2015, the ECB has now issued the first-ever summary report of this kind on the meeting. The intention of these accounts is not to provide a word-for-word transcript but rather a summary of the Governing Council members' monetary policy discussions.

No report on individual votes cast

The account begins with an overview of the financial market and economic and monetary developments. The ECB Governing Council's discussions are then summarised, and economic and monetary analyses are presented along with the monetary policy viewpoints expressed. Thus, the accounts present a balanced report of the political discussions and document, for example, arguments for and against particular decisions. The account does not report how individual members of the Governing Council voted or put names to comments made by individuals.

The Governing Council meets once a fortnight and from 2015 onwards, a monetary policy meeting will be held every six weeks. Previously, the Governing Council made monetary policy decisions once a month. The minutes of these meetings, however, will continue to remain locked away for 30 years.

The ECB Governing Council hopes the accounts will provide the general public and market players with greater transparency about the deliberations behind its monetary policy decisions. The Bank of England and the US Federal Reserve have been publishing similar documents for some time now.