The European Central Bank is perhaps best known for its monthly interest rate decisions. These are taken jointly with the national central banks of the euro area and apply to all 18 countries which have adopted the euro. The Bank’s primary objective is to keep prices stable, i.e. to ensure that the purchasing power of the euro is not eroded by inflation. It also aims to promote financial integration and financial stability in the euro area. Consequently, the ECB plays a crucial role in Europe’s economic life and ultimately in the well-being of its people.
The ECB works closely with all 18 national central banks in the euro area and together with them forms a group called the Eurosystem. It also has regular contact with all 28 national central banks in the EU in a network called the European System of Central Banks.
As a result, many staff members are frequently in contact with colleagues and counterparts from the national central banks.
The ECB is a new institution – it was set up in 1998 – but it benefits from the many years of expertise of the national central banks. The Bank has firmly established its inflation-fighting credentials. To maintain that standing we look for highly skilled staff with impeccable ethical standards.
We are ‘young’ in another respect as well: more than 50% of our staff are between 35 and 45 years of age, and the average age of our managers is about 45.
In terms of its organisation, the ECB is function-based and is divided into directorates, divisions and sections. This composition is complemented by other structures, such as project teams, working groups and committees. They ensure interdisciplinary competences and cross-organisational perspectives. They frequently involve the participation of the EU’s national central banks.
If you join the ECB, you’ll be struck by our diversity. We are a mosaic of men and women from all European countries. We are an exceptional blend of cultures, languages, professional backgrounds, ages, nationalities, ethnic origins, sexual orientations and religious beliefs, all working together. Our diversity is a key contributor to our success. It enables us to see things from many different perspectives. Managing diversity means creating a productive and respectful environment in which talents are used effectively to meet our organisational goals. We recruit, develop and retain staff who are open minded and tolerant of differences.
In 2010, the Executive Board of the ECB adopted the following public statement:
As an organisation we have identified six corporate values that guide us in our day-to-day activities.
We aspire to attain the highest degree of professional excellence, in an environment of equal opportunities.
Effectiveness and efficiency
We perform our tasks in a goal-oriented manner, allocating our resources in an optimal way through cost-awareness and prioritisation.
We live up to the highest standards in terms of honesty, loyalty and commitment to our institution.
We cooperate closely and at all levels with our colleagues across business areas, the Eurosystem and the ESCB, building on our diversity and synergies.
Transparency and accountability
We share information with a sense of openness and responsibility; we recognise and strive to fulfil our accountability obligations.
Working for Europe
We work in the interests of Europe, an ever closer union, and its active participation in the international community. We are enriched by our common values and cultural diversity.
The ECB has set itself high ethical standards. Its staff members must meet these standards if the Bank is to maintain the public’s confidence.
The framework includes the following:
For cases where the framework requires some interpretation we have an independent Ethics Adviser who can advise on a case by case basis.
We offer both fixed-term contracts (convertible or non-convertible) of one to five years and short-term contracts of less than one year.
Permanent positions are filled on the basis of three-year fixed-term contracts, except for managerial and advisory positions which are filled on the basis of five-year fixed-term contracts.
A fixed-term contract offered for a permanent position may thereafter be converted to an unlimited contract, subject to a review procedure that takes into account both organisational considerations and individual performance.
A six month probationary period applies.
Non-convertible fixed-term contracts are offered to cover either a specific time-limited organisational need or the absence of a staff member. Candidates selected for such positions are offered fixed-term contracts for the duration of the position that cannot be converted to a permanent contract. However, depending upon evolving organisational needs, such fixed-term contracts may be extended.
A six month probationary period applies.
Short-term contracts are offered to provide temporary cover for the absence of staff members for a minimum of three months and a maximum of 12 months. They can neither be extended beyond 12 months nor converted to fixed-term contracts.
Both short-term and non-convertible fixed-term contracts can also be offered to employees of EU central banks and European and international public institutions (ESCB/IO assignments). The key difference between these and normal fixed and short-term contracts is that the secondments are supported by the seconding institution and the seconded staff members retain his/her employment relationship with that institution. In addition, short term contracts with the ESCB and International Organisation can go up to 36 months.
In addition to the above contract types, we also offer traineeship, consultancy, agency and freelance contracts. These do not fall under the ECB Conditions of Employment.
We offer an internationally competitive salary and allowances. Salaries, allowances and benefits are subject to a tax levied by the European Communities and are therefore exempt from national taxes. Salaries are reviewed annually based on each staff members’ personal development and contribution to the performance of the organisation.
Members of staff recruited from outside Germany on to fixed-term contract may also be entitled to an expatriation allowance. A household allowance, a child allowance and an education allowance may also be granted to members of staff depending on their personal circumstances.
For staff on short-term contracts we offer temporary accommodation and a monthly travel allowance.
Our staff members have worldwide medical cover under the ECB Medical Benefits and Dental Plan, two-thirds of the cost of which is borne by the ECB, with one-third paid by staff. Staff also have accident insurance cover which provides benefits in the event a staff member has an accident resulting in a disability or death in service.
All staff on fixed-term contracts are members of the ECB Pension Scheme. The Scheme provides staff members with an income after they retire from the ECB. It also provides benefits for a staff member’s family in the event of his/her death.
Staff on short-term contract do not become members of the ECB Pension Scheme but do receive the equivalent ECB pension contribution paid out with the month salary.
If you join the ECB on a fixed-term contract, and if your place of recruitment is more then 50 km from the ECB, we will pay:
If you join on a short-term contract, and if your place of recruitment is more then 50 km from the ECB, we will pay for:
Trainees registered in the ECB traineeship programme are subject to the Rules governing this programme (download)
A relocation service helps new staff members make their move to Frankfurt as smooth and as easy as possible. Their services include assistance in finding suitable accommodation, negotiating with prospective landlords, checking the rental contract and providing guidance on legal issues and other regulations.
The Bank’s facilities include three subsidised staff restaurants, a coffee bar and a gymnasium. As an ECB employee, you – and your family – can join the ECB’s Sports and Cultural Club, which has some 25 sections, including badminton, cinema, dance, choir, hiking, karate, scuba diving and tennis. We also organise social events, such as a Christmas party and summer party, for our staff members and their families.
The ECB currently occupies three buildings in the centre of Frankfurt. It plans to move to a new building in the east of the city in 2014.
Local line managers are responsible for managing the performance of their staff through an ongoing and open dialogue.
Managers allocate work, define objectives, review performance, provide feedback and assess areas for development. This ongoing developmental process is consolidated once a year in a more formal appraisal exercise. The process is supported by our competency framework and corporate values.
We encourage staff members to move within the organisation in order to increase their expertise and broaden their skills. Vacancies are generally first advertised internally and staff are encouraged to apply. Some staff members also take part in intra-divisional mobility schemes and job swaps. Furthermore, there are opportunities for temporary secondment to other central banks, and European and international organisations.
We offer a wide range of in-house training, including generic and specific job-related training, personal and interpersonal skills, people management and language training. All the courses are tailored to the specific needs of our institution and staff. Staff members may also attend external courses for specific job-related training.
The health and well-being of our staff are of utmost importance to us. We therefore offer a range of flexible working arrangements, such as part-time work and teleworking, to help staff achieve a good balance between their professional and private commitments. In addition to paid maternity leave, staff members may take paternity leave, parental leave and unpaid leave on personal grounds. We also allow staff members time off work to care for sick children and other dependants, and special leave for personal or family reasons. Annual leave comprises 30.5 working days per calendar year. Robert Schuman Day and German public holidays are also observed (up to 14 working days per annum).
Frankfurt am Main, where the ECB is located, is Germany’s most international city. It has a population of 670,000 and is situated on the river Main. It is a pleasant place to live, with many cultural attractions, leisure facilities and green areas. The city has a good infrastructure, with an extensive road and rail network connecting it to the rest of the country. Its airport is Europe’s second largest.
For many of our staff, working at the ECB means leaving “home” behind. This may put a strain on family life in the new environment and may make solving problems “back home” more difficult. Being an expatriate has its challenges.
To help our staff and their families to settle in more easily, we offer a range of sports and social activities to help them to integrate into the working environment and everyday life in Germany.
We provide job finding programmes and support the learning of languages for staff and family by partially reimbursing expenses for privately organised language courses.
The ECB has three externally managed childcare facilities, taking children aged from three months to six years old. They have long opening hours which cover the ECB’s working day.
For older children, the European School in Frankfurt, offers a diverse and stimulating learning environment, leading to the European baccalaureate. It is an official educational establishment controlled jointly by the governments of the European Union countries.
The European School provides a multilingual, multicultural and multi-denominational education for nursery, primary and secondary-level pupils. There are four main language sections and additional mother tongue tuition in all official EU languages.
There are also two other international schools as well as a French lycée in the Frankfurt area.