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Blue Book

The Blue Book provides a comprehensive description of the main payment and securities settlement systems in EU Member States.

The latest edition of the Blue Book, published in August 2007, consists of two volumes:

Statistical data

Statistical data on euro payment, clearing and settlement activities can be found in the ECB’s Statistical Data Warehouse (SDW). The SDW also contains pre-formatted tables on payment statistics which present data in the same way as the old Blue Book Addendum publication. The tables contain data for the last five years and provide a convenient link to the full series, also available in the SDW.

The euro area and the individual country chapters follow a commonly agreed outline:

  1. overview of the institutional aspects which have an impact on payment and settlement systems, including a brief description of the major parties involved;
  2. payment media used by non-banks;
  3. interbank transfer and settlement systems;
  4. systems for the trading, clearing and settlement of securities.

Previous editions

The first edition of the Blue Book was published in 1992 by the Committee of Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community. The second edition was published by the ECB’s predecessor, the European Monetary Institute (EMI), in April 1996. The third edition was published by the ECB in June 2001.

In 1999 and 2002 the ECB also prepared descriptions of the payment and securities settlement systems in the then accession countries in anticipation of their future EU membership.