PRESS RELEASE

Acceding country central bank Governors attend meeting of General Council of ECB

26 June 2003

The Governors of the ten acceding country central banks (ACCBs) have today, for the first time, participated as observers at a meeting of the General Council of the ECB. Mr. Zdeněk Tůma (Česká národní banka), Mr. Vahur Kraft (Eesti Pank), Mr. Christodoulos Christodoulou (Central Bank of Cyprus), Mr. Ilmārs Rimšēvičs (Latvijas Banka), Mr. Reinoldijus Šarkinas (Lietuvos bankas), Mr. Zsigmond Járai (Magyar Nemzeti Bank), Mr. Michael C. Bonello (Central Bank of Malta/Bank Ċentrali ta’ Malta), Mr. Leszek Balcerowicz (Narodowy Bank Polski), Mr. Mitja Gaspari (Banka Slovenije) and Mr. Marián Jusko (Národná banka Slovenska) attended their first General Council meeting, at which Commissioner Solbes was also present. .

In September 2002, with a view to enhancing co-operation with the ACCBs in preparation for enlargement of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), the ECB’s decision-making bodies had decided to invite the Governors and experts of the ACCBs to attend, as from the date of signature of the Accession Treaty, the meetings of the General Council and the ESCB Committees respectively.

With EU and ESCB enlargement planned for 1 May 2004, today’s meeting of the General Council was the first to be held following the signing of the Accession Treaty in Athens on 16 April 2003. On the General Council’s agenda was, inter alia, an exchange of views on economic, monetary and financial developments in the euro area, the non-euro area Member States and the acceding countries.

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