PRESS RELEASE

European Union supports cooperation between the European Central Bank and the Central Bank of Bosnia Herzegovina

16 February 2007

Signing of the protocol of the “Eurosystem needs assessment programme to the benefit of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina”

Today, Ms Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, Member of the Executive Board and of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), Mr Andre Lys, Head of Operations of the European Commission Delegation to Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Mr Kemal Kozarić, Governor of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, signed a tripartite protocol in Sarajevo. The protocol marks the start of a “Eurosystem needs assessment programme to the benefit of the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina”. The European Union will fund the €300,000 six-month programme, which will start on 1 March 2007. The contract for this support has been signed between the ECB and the Delegation of the European Commission to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The programme will be implemented through a coordinated “Eurosystem approach”, involving the ECB in partnership with the Deutsche Bundesbank, Eesti Pank, the Bank of Greece, the Banco de España, the Banque de France, the Banca d’Italia, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and Banka Slovenije. To coordinate activities under the programme and elaborate the needs assessment report, the Eurosystem will dispatch a Resident Programme Coordinator to Sarajevo for six months. The eight national central bank partners will provide experts who will conduct an evaluation on their respective areas of expertise during short-term visits to Sarajevo, in close contact with their counterparts in the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The programme will cover the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s functions with regard to: coordination of the activities of the agencies responsible for licensing and supervision; economic analysis and research; financial stability; internal audit; monetary policy under a currency board arrangement; payment systems; and statistics, and will compare these with the standards of the European System of Central Banks.

The Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina supports the programme, providing, inter alia, local support staff and logistical backing to the Resident Programme Coordinator and the experts from the national central banks.

Ms Tumpel-Gugerell, Mr Lys and Mr Kozarić consider this programme as an important step towards strengthening economic and financial cooperation between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as between the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the ECB and its national central bank partners.

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