The Governing Council of the ECB is the main decision-making body of the Eurosystem. It comprises
The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB Statute) assign to the Governing Council the power to take the most important and strategically significant decisions for the Eurosystem. When taking decisions on monetary policy and on other tasks of the Eurosystem, the members of the Governing Council act not as national representatives but in a fully independent capacity.
The Governing Council currently meets twice a month, usually on the first and third Thursday. Interest rate decisions are normally discussed at the first meeting of the month only. The President of the EU Council/Eurogroup and a member of the European Commission may attend the meetings, but without having the right to vote. Each member of the Governing Council has one vote and, unless otherwise provided for in the ESCB Statute, the Governing Council acts by simple majority. In the event of a tie, the President has the casting vote. Although the proceedings of the meetings are confidential, the Governing Council makes the outcome of its deliberations public, primarily those about setting the key interest rates, via a press conference which is held after the first Governing Council meeting of each month. Since December 2004 decisions taken by the Governing Council other than those setting interest rates have also been published every month on the websites of the Eurosystem central banks.
The main responsibilities of the Governing Council are:
In addition, the Governing Council is the supreme decision-making body for the administration and functioning of the ECB itself. In particular, the Governing Council adopts the Rules of Procedure of the ECB and is competent with regard to its finances, budget and appropriation of the annual financial results.
For the up-to-date list of members including pictures, see www.ecb.europa.eu/ecb/orga/decisions/govc
OR.016 01/12European Central Bank