PRESS RELEASE

ECB mourns Alexandre Lamfalussy, one of the euro’s founding fathers

11 May 2015

It is with great sadness that we received the news of the passing away of Alexandre Baron Lamfalussy. The staff and the Executive Board of the European Central Bank (ECB), as well as the members of the Governing Council and of the General Council of the ECB, are mourning a very dear former colleague and friend.

Alexandre Lamfalussy’s name will always be inextricably connected with the single currency and the European Central Bank. As founding president of the European Monetary Institute (1994-1997), the forerunner institution of the ECB, he guided the immense and unprecedented preparatory work for the establishment of the ECB in June 1998 and the launch of the single currency in January 1999. Under his stewardship, core building stones of the euro and its central bank have been put into place: defining a monetary policy strategy for the ECB and devising the necessary instruments to implement it across the monetary union; the technical and infrastructural foundations, like a pan-European payment and settlement system; preparing to decide on the name, look and feel of the future euro banknotes. With his chairmanship of the Council of the EMI, cooperation among national central banks evolved to become a single policy conducted jointly by the Eurosystem, the central banking system for the euro.

His commitment and contribution to Europe and the euro continued beyond his tenure at the Eurotower. As author of a system of integrating the EU’s financial market rule-making that carries his name, he foresaw the essential need for financial integration in Europe to go hand in hand with monetary integration and actively drove this process forward. Many aspects of what is known today as Banking Union, and what Europe is pursuing under the initiative of a Capital Markets Union, are rooted in Alexandre Lamfalussy’s initial analysis.

His sharp intellect, gracious charm and untiring commitment to European unity will be sorely missed. Our deep admiration and warm affection for Alexandre Lamfalussy as founding father of the euro will remain.

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