PRESS RELEASE

ECB announces EU-funded cooperation programme with the National Bank of Serbia

18 March 2011

The European Central Bank (ECB) today announced the launch of a central bank cooperation programme with the National Bank of Serbia (NBS), to be funded by the European Union. The aim of the programme is to support the NBS in implementing the central banking standards of the European Union (EU). The EU has allocated €2.5 million to the programme from its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).

A protocol was signed in Belgrade by Mr Dejan Šoškić, Governor of the NBS, Mrs Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell, Member of the Executive Board of the ECB and Ambassador Vincent Degert, Head of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Serbia. All three welcomed this programme as another step forward in strengthening cooperation between central banks in Europe, with the wider aim of fostering monetary and financial stability, as well as closer ties between the EU and the Republic of Serbia.

The programme, which is a follow-up to an analysis of the specific needs of the NBS carried out in 2008-2009, will cover 11 different areas of cooperation: 1) financial sector supervision; 2) legal harmonisation; 3) liberalisation of capital movements; 4) foreign exchange reserve management; 5) monetary and exchange rate operations; 6) financial services consumer protection; 7) EU accession support; 8) economic analysis and research; 9) statistics; 10) payment systems; and 11) financial stability. It will be completed in January 2013.

The programme will involve experts from the ECB and a large number of national central banks in the European System of Central Banks (Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Hungary, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and the United Kingdom). The ECB has dispatched a coordinator to Belgrade for the duration of the programme.

The aim of the programme is to help the NBS to prepare strategies, internal policies and economic models that meet the standards applied by central banks in the EU, as well as laws that transpose the EU regulatory regime into Serbian law. The staff of the NBS will acquire expertise and skills through training courses and study visits to institutions in the EU Member States. The successful completion of the programme will better prepare the NBS to join the ESCB once the Republic of Serbia has qualified for EU membership.

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