The Committee of Governors of the Central Banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community (1964-93)
The Committee of Governors (“CoG”, or “Committee”), was established in 1964 to promote cooperation between the central banks of the Member States, by holding consultations and exchanging information on monetary policies and relevant measures, with a particular focus on the credit, and money and exchange markets.
In 1990, the Committee’s role was reinforced as part of Stage One of Economic and Monetary Union. Its remit was extended to include helping to coordinate monetary and exchange rate policies, which were considered essential for achieving price stability and ensuring the proper functioning of the European Monetary System.
The Committee usually met in Basel at the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), which provided logistical and secretarial support. Several working groups and task forces were assigned to provide analytical expertise until 1990, when the Economic Unit joined the Secretariat, and the Monetary Policy Sub-Committee (MPSC), the Foreign Exchange Policy Sub-Committee (FXPSC) and the Banking Supervision Sub-Committee (BSSC) were established as formal substructures.
In January 1994, the Committee of Governors was replaced by the European Monetary Institute (EMI) and soon after, the official seat moved to Frankfurt am Main.
The Committee records are paper based and consist of 581 boxes. They mainly cover meetings, working papers and reports of the Committee of Governors and the Committee of Alternates, as well as of sub-committees and expert groups on monetary policy, foreign exchange and capital movement, banking supervision and other issues falling within the central banks’ competences. Finally, they also include documents connected to relations with European and international institutions and fora. Documents predominantly cover the period from 1964 to 1993 (with some copies of documents from the 1950s) and they are written mostly in English, French and German.
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The first section encompasses the establishment and internal organisation of the Committee of Governors. It also includes issues relating to staffing, financial administration, communication and communication systems.
CoG 1.1 Foundation, internal issues and constitution
This subsection covers the institutional and organisational framework used to establish the Committee of Governors and how the Secretariat and Economic Unit worked to support the Committee. It also includes rules of procedure, work programmes, presidency elections, working group and sub-committee membership, staffing and recruitment policy.
CoG 1.2 Financial administration
This subsection covers the Committee of Governors’ and the European Monetary Cooperation Fund’s expenditure and cost sharing, and the Committee on Financial Matters’ records from 1990 to 1994.
CoG 1.3 Communication and communication systems
This subsection covers press releases and speeches given by governors and officials between 1985 and 1993, and the establishment of the telecommunications system in 1971.
The second section contains documentation of the Committee of Governors’ and the Committee of Alternates’ meetings. The Committee of Governors’ and the Economic Unit’s annual reports are also included.
CoG 2.1 Meetings of the Committee of Governors
This subsection covers the agendas, minutes and documentation related to the Committee of Governors’ meetings, which took place between 6 July 1964 and 14 December 1993, and which have been authorised for public release.
CoG 2.2 Meetings and reporting of the Committee of Alternates
This subsection covers documentation relating to the Committee of Alternates’ meetings, which were held between 1973 and 1993; work programmes; and a collection of reports and documents for Stages One and Two of Economic and Monetary Union from 1990 onwards.
CoG 2.3 Reporting of the Economic Unit
This subsection includes the Economic Unit’s work programmes and a collection of reports, notes, memoranda and other contributions on monetary and fiscal policies, international competitiveness and monetary aggregates.
CoG 2.4 Annual reports of the Committee of Governors
This subsection contains the first (1990 – 1991) and second (1992) annual reports and related preparatory work.
The third section includes the principles of monetary policy, operations and harmonisation from the early 1960s until 1993 and activities related to the “Snake in the Tunnel” – the first attempt to narrow Community currencies’ exchange rates after the decline of the Bretton Woods System (1972 – 1974). It also includes transactions related to the European Monetary System and the European Currency Unit (ECU) from 1979 until the end of the Committee’s term in 1993. The documents contained here are not strictly related to certain expert groups or fora, and a considerable number of documents that were not produced by the Committee are included, such as those drafted by the European Commission.
CoG 3.1 European monetary integration since the 1960s
This subsection contains documentation on the outlines of cooperation and convergence of European monetary and economic policies, the preliminary efforts to achieve Economic and Monetary Union and the discussions on Stage One. It also covers issues relating to the enlargement of the European Economic Community (EEC) and cooperation among central banks.
CoG 3.2 Interventions and exchange rates during the period of the “Currency Snake” and the European Monetary System
This subsection includes documentation on the short and medium-term assistance provided to the Community and on its loan framework. It also includes documentation on interventions in Community currencies as part of the European Monetary System.
CoG 3.3 European Monetary System development and maintenance
This subsection covers documentation on the establishment of the European Monetary System, such as the Agreement laying down the operating procedure (1979), as well as proposals, discussions, reports, academic papers and speeches on its development. It also includes a collection of documents on the use of the ECU and on the functioning and crisis of the Exchange Rate Mechanism.
CoG 3.4 Preparation of the European Monetary Institute and the European System of Central Banks
This subsection covers the preparatory work carried out for Stages Two and Three of Economic and Monetary Union and the organisational arrangements for the transition from the Committee of Governors to the European Monetary Institute (EMI). It also includes the preliminary drafts of the Statute of the EMI, the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, and the appointment of the first President of the EMI, Alexandre Lamfalussy.
The fourth section includes observations, meeting files, policy proposals, practices and statistics on foreign exchange and capital movements. It also includes the first attempts to develop a harmonised European approach, which were mainly organised by expert groups. Some of these groups operated over many years, during which time they produced numerous reports.
CoG 4.1 Concertation and monitoring
This subsection covers the Concertation Group’s (1973 – 1993) and the Monitoring Group’s (1987 – 1993) meeting documentation. It also covers principles and tables relating to interventions and interest and exchange rates, and monthly reports on developments on the foreign exchange markets of the countries whose central banks participated in the concertation procedure between 1974 and 1994.
CoG 4.2 Capital movement issues, meetings and reporting of expert groups on short-term capital movements
This subsection includes meeting documentation and reports of the Committee of Experts on Short-term Capital Movements (1967 – 1969) and the Working Group on Short-term Capital Movements (1974 – 1976). It also includes a collection of documents on issues related to capital movement.
CoG 4.3 Meetings and reporting of the expert groups chaired by Messrs. Ansiaux, Théron, Barre, Heyvaert and Dalgaard
This subsection covers meeting documentation and the final report of the Expert Group chaired by Hubert Ansiaux, who was responsible for responding to several questions raised by Luxembourg’s Prime Minister, Pierre Werner, on the narrowing of fluctuation margins between Community currencies and the creation of a fund to regulate exchange (1970), and on other matters. This subsection also includes meeting documentation and reports of the Expert Group that was set up in 1970 and chaired by Marcel Théron (1970 – 1974), Pierre Barre (1974), François Heyvaert (1974 – 1982) and Henning Dalgaard (1983 – 1990). The reports focus on various technical problems posed by concertation, the narrowing of fluctuation margins between Community currencies, the functioning of the Basel agreement, the multi-currency system of interventions, the mobilisation of gold reserves, the intra-community settlement of balances, the intra-community exchange rate system and the operating procedures of European Monetary System and the ECU.
CoG 4.4 Meetings and reporting of the Foreign Exchange Policy Sub-Committee (FXPSC)
This subsection covers meeting documentation (1990 – 1992) and the preparatory work carried out for regular and special reports. The 14 regular reports include the European Monetary System’s annual review of developments.
The fifth section includes meeting files and reporting of monetary expert groups since the 1970s.
CoG 5.1 Meetings and reporting of the Working Group on Harmonisation of Monetary Policy Instruments
This subsection includes meeting documentation and reports of the Working Group on Harmonisation of Monetary Policy Instruments (1970 – 1981).
CoG 5.2 Meetings and reporting of the Expert Group chaired by Messrs. Bastiaanse and Raymond
This subsection covers meeting documentation of the Expert Group that was established in 1973 and chaired by Adriaan Willem Bastiaanse (1973 – 1980) and Robert Raymond (1981 – 1990). The Group focused and prepared regular reports on developments in the money supply in the Community countries between 1973 and 1974, as well as on monetary developments between 1974 and 1975, the monetary situation between 1975 and 1978, and monetary policies in EEC member countries between 1978 and 1990. The Group also prepared special reports, such as the report on public finance and deficits (1981 – 1990).
CoG 5.3 Meetings and reporting of the Monetary Policy Sub-Committee (MPSC)
This subsection covers meeting documentation and the preparatory work carried out for regular and special reports. The regular reports include the annual report on monetary policy intentions and the annual review of monetary policies in the Community. It also contains the monthly review of major macroeconomic developments in EEC countries (also known as the Small Green Book) from November 1987 to December 1993.
The sixth section encompasses early coordination stages of banking supervision issues, discussions relating to national and international legislation and the activities of the banking supervisory sub-committee and its substructures in the early 1990s. Also included are the related activities of the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision.
CoG 6.1 Supervisory aspects and initiatives
This subsection includes documentation related to the coordination of initiatives on banking supervision legislation and on the exchange of data among central banks about foreign credits and risks. It also covers the work of the Ad hoc Group on American Banking Legislation (1974 – 1978).
CoG 6.2 Meetings and reporting of the Banking Supervisory Sub-Committee (BSSC)
This subsection includes meeting documentation and the preparatory work carried out for reports. It also covers a collection of articles and documents related to banking supervision in Community and non-Community countries, as well as documentation on the incorporation of the Second Banking Coordination Directive into national legislation, and on cooperation between banking supervisory authorities.
CoG 6.3 Meetings and reporting of related expert groups on banking supervision
This subsection includes meeting documentation and reports of the substructures of the Banking Supervisory Sub-Committee, namely the Working Group on Credit Registers, the Working Group on Financial Fragility, and the Working Group on Financial Conglomerates. It also covers relations with the Contact Group of Bank Supervisory Authorities from the 1970s onwards.
CoG 6.4 Basel Committee on Banking Supervision Activities
This subsection includes documentation on meetings and contact, and on various banking supervision issues, such as market risks, banks’ capital adequacy and developing minimal standards.
The seventh section consists of meetings and activities of the Working Group on Accounting Issues and its substructures in the early 1990s.
CoG 7.1 Meetings and reporting of the Working Group on Accounting Issues (WGAI)
This subsection includes meeting documentation and the preparatory work carried out for reports. It also covers surveys on accounting methodologies applied by central banks.
CoG 7.2 Meetings and reporting of related expert groups on accounting
This subsection includes meeting documentation and reports of the Task Force on Accounting Issues and of the Ad hoc Working Group on Income Allocation.
The eighth section comprises meetings and activities of the Working Group on Printing and Issuing a European Banknote and its substructures in the early 1990s.
CoG 8.1 Meetings and reporting of the Working Group on Printing and Issuing a European Banknote (BNWG)
This subsection includes meeting documentation and preparatory work carried out for reports (1993), as well as documents on relations with the Mint Directors Group and the European Blind Union.
CoG 8.2 Meetings and reporting of related expert groups on a European currency
This subsection contains meeting and working documentation, as well as reports produced by the substructures of the Working Group on Printing and Issuing a European Banknote; namely the Design Task Force, the Issue Task Force, the Security Technology Task Force, the Survey Task Force, the Scenario Task Force and the Costing Task Force.
The ninth section comprises analytical and coordination activities related to payment systems in Community countries, predominantly in the late 1980s and early 1990s, focusing mainly on the Working Group on EC Payment Systems. This section also includes documents that were not produced by the Committee of Governors.
CoG 9.1 Meetings and reporting of the Ad hoc Working Group/Working Group on EC Payment Systems (WGPS)
This subsection includes meeting documentation and preparatory work carried out for reports. It also covers documentation relating to meetings held with private bank representatives.
CoG 9.2 Initiatives and coordination of payment systems by the Ad hoc Working Group/Working Group on EC Payment Systems (WGPS)
This subsection includes documentation on coordinating payment system initiatives – such as technical infrastructure and data processing issues – and harmonising national and cross-border payments. It also covers work on the Private ECU Clearing and Settlement System.
CoG 9.3 Development of the Blue Book
This subsection covers the preparation, translation and publication of the Blue Book on payment systems in the Community countries.
CoG 9.4 Meetings and reporting of related expert groups on payment systems
This subsection covers meeting and working documentation, as well as reports of the Working Group on EC Payment Systems’ substructures, namely the Coordination Group, the Editorial Group, the Drafting Group, the ECU Task Force, the Task Force of Legal Experts on EC Payment System, the Task Force on Recommendation 3 and the Task Force on Prepaid Cards. It includes documents on relations with external expert groups, such as the Payment Systems Technical Development Group, the Committee on Central Bank Payment and Settlement Services (CPSS) and the European Committee for Banking Standards (ECBS), as well as contributions to the European Commission’s initiatives.
The tenth section mainly includes IT-related issues associated with the preparation of the EMI (Stage Two of Economic and Monetary Union). Cebamail, the system for transferring protected data between central banks, is also covered.
CoG 10.1 Meetings and reporting of the Expert Group chaired by Jean-Baptiste Bourguignon (Bourguignon Group) and its substructure
This subsection includes documentation and reports of the Bourguignon Group which was established to study non-voice information transmission between EEC central banks. It also comprises documents of its Sub-Group on Encryption which was initiated to carry out research on encryption products.
CoG 10.2 Meetings and reporting of the Working Group on Information Systems (WGIS) and Cebamail issues
This subsection includes meeting and working documentation, and reports of the Working Group on the Information Systems and of its Sub-Group on Cebamail.
The eleventh section comprises statistical series and contributions to harmonisation initiatives on statistical issues and to various committees led by Eurostat. It also includes the Working Group on Statistics’ meetings and activities in the early 1990s.
CoG 11.1 Coordination of statistical issues since the 1960s
This subsection covers documentation on initiatives related to harmonising statistical approaches and on the Community’s statistical system. It also contains the series of working documents (statistical data relating to EEC member countries (1973 – 1979)) and the monthly statistical series (the Big Green Book (1979 –1993)).
CoG 11.2 Meetings and reporting of the Working Group on Statistics (WGS)
This subsection covers meeting and working documentation and reports.
CoG 11.3 Meetings and reporting of other related statistical expert groups and committees
This subsection covers meeting and working documentation and reports prepared by various committees and substructures set up by Eurostat, such as the Committee on Monetary, Financial and Balance of Payments Statistics (CMFB), the Money and Banking Statistics Task Force (MBSTF), and the Balance of Payments Capital Flows and Stocks Statistics Task Force (CFSTF).
The twelfth section mainly comprises documents created by the European Commission and its substructures. In many cases, neither the Committee of Governors nor the central banks were involved in the transactions that led to the creation of these documents. A large number of them were sent to the Committee of Governors’ Secretariat in Basel for information only.
CoG 12.1 Opinions and initiatives on monetary and economic issues and European legislation
This subsection covers a collection of drafts, proposals and final versions of directives regarding economic, banking and financial issues; reports prepared by the European Commission, such as the annual report on the economic situation in the European Communities (1971 – 1982 and 1989); and reports associated with the Study Group “Problems of Inflation” (1975 – 1977). It also includes meeting documentation of a group of national experts on forecasting (1991 – 1993) and the Banking Advisory Committee (1986 – 1993).
The thirteenth section mainly comprises documents that were created by the Monetary Committee in Brussels and sent to the Committee of Governors’ Secretariat in Basel for information purposes. Central bank representatives were involved in the Monetary Committee’s activities.
CoG 13.1 Meetings of the Monetary Committee and its substructures
This subsection contains (incomplete) meeting documentation of the Monetary Committee (1969 – 1993), its Committee of Alternates (1981 – 1993, in particular) and the Ad hoc Group on Italy (1973 – 1978, in particular).
CoG 13.2 Professional opinions on monetary and financial issues
This subsection contains reports on the Monetary Committee’s activities (the series is incomplete from 1959 to 1988), the conditions and proposals for Community loan assistance (1981 – 1993) and opinions and notes on various monetary policies issues, such as capital movements, budget discipline and convergence.
The fourteenth section encompasses documents produced by permanent and temporary European fora and organisations relating to monetary and financial policy and cooperation. The documents saved in the section relating to ECOFIN and the European Council are not complete. With regard to working towards Economic and Monetary Union, the documents created by the Intergovernmental Conference are of particular interest.
CoG 14.1 Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN)
This subsection covers meeting documentation of ECOFIN Council (from 1970 to 1993) and reports and notes to ECOFIN Council on cooperation with third countries regarding monetary policies and interest and exchange rate policies.
CoG 14.2 European Council
This subsection contains (incomplete) meeting documentation and conclusions of the Presidency, as well as working papers on various policy issues, such as fiscal integration, inflation and freedom of capital movements. It also contains contributions made to the Ad hoc Committee on International Questions (1984 – 1985).
CoG 14.3 Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) on economic and monetary union
This subsection includes contributions made by the Committee of Governors’ negotiations regarding the Treaty on European Union.
The fifteenth section mainly encompasses collections related to national central banks and the financial and monetary policy for EEC and non-EEC countries. Documents relating to the internal organisation of supranational institutions and private associations, and how they relate to the Committee of Governors are also covered.
CoG 15.1 National central bank (internal) issues
This subsection contains collections of documents on various issues relating to national central banks, such as their legal status.
CoG 15.2 National monetary policy
This subsection contains collections of documents on monetary and economic policy issues relating to several EEC and non-EEC countries. It also covers documents related to the loans made by the European Community to Greece and Italy.
CoG 15.3 Supranational monetary organisations
This subsection contains documentation on the organisation of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) and a collection of speeches and contributions made by its economic adviser between 1976 and 1985, and its general manager – Alexandre Lamfalussy – between 1985 and 1993. It also covers documentation on meetings and initiatives of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and on the establishment of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).
CoG 15.4 Private banking associations
This subsection covers relations with the ECU Banking Association (EBA), the International Economic Association (IEA), the European Economic Association (EEA) and the European Banking Federation (EBF).