Governing Council

The Governing Council is the main decision-making body of the ECB. It consists of

  • the six members of the Executive Board, plus
  • the governors of the national central banks of the 19 euro area countries.
The Governing Council

The Governing Council

(as at January 2015)

Responsibilities

  • to adopt the guidelines and take the decisions necessary to ensure the performance of the tasks entrusted to the ECB and the Eurosystem;
  • to formulate monetary policy for the euro area. This includes decisions relating to monetary objectives, key interest rates, the supply of reserves in the Eurosystem, and the establishment of guidelines for the implementation of those decisions.
  • in the context of the ECB’s new responsibilities related to banking supervision, to adopt decisions relating to the general framework under which supervisory decisions are taken, and to adopt the complete draft decisions proposed by the Supervisory Board under the non-objection procedure.

Meetings and decisions

The Governing Council usually meets twice a month at the ECB’s premises in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

The Governing Council assesses economic and monetary developments and takes its monetary policy decisions every six weeks. At the other meetings, the Council discusses mainly issues related to other tasks and responsibilities of the ECB and the Eurosystem. To ensure the separation of the ECB’s monetary policy and other tasks from its supervisory responsibilities, separate meetings of the Governing Council are held.

The monetary policy decision is explained in detail at a press conference held every six weeks. The President, assisted by the Vice-President, chairs the press conference.

In addition, the ECB publishes regular accounts of the Governing Council’s monetary policy meetings before the date of the next one.

Find out more about decision-making within the Single Supervisory Mechanism. Banking supervision website

How do voting rights rotate on the ECB Governing Council?

The accession of Lithuania to the euro area on 1 January 2015 triggered a system under which National Central Bank Governors take turns holding voting rights on the Governing Council.

In this text, the ECB answers some frequently asked questions on how the system works and why it exists.

FAQ on the rotation of voting rights
Overview of the full schedule

 

Members

Mario Draghi

Mario Draghi

President of the ECB

Curriculum vitae
Vítor Constâncio

Vítor Constâncio

Vice-President of the ECB

Curriculum vitae
Benoît Cœuré

Benoît Cœuré

Member of the Executive Board of the ECB

Curriculum vitae
Sabine Lautenschläger

Sabine Lautenschläger

Member of the Executive Board of the ECB

Curriculum vitae
Yves Mersch

Yves Mersch

Member of the Executive Board of the ECB

Curriculum vitae
Peter Praet

Peter Praet

Member of the Executive Board of the ECB

Curriculum vitae
Jan Smets

Jan Smets

Governor, Nationale Bank van België/Banque Nationale de Belgique

Jens Weidmann

Jens Weidmann

President, Deutsche Bundesbank

Ardo Hansson

Ardo Hansson

Governor, Eesti Pank

Patrick Honohan

Patrick Honohan

Governor, Central Bank of Ireland

Yannis Stournaras

Yannis Stournaras

Governor, Bank of Greece

Luis María Linde

Luis María Linde

Governor, Banco de España

Christian Noyer

Christian Noyer

Governor, Banque de France

Ignazio Visco

Ignazio Visco

Governor, Banca d'Italia

Chrystalla Georghadji

Chrystalla Georghadji

Governor, Central Bank of Cyprus

Vitas Vasiliauskas

Vitas Vasiliauskas

Chairman of the Board, Lietuvos bankas

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs

Ilmārs Rimšēvičs

Governor, Latvijas Banka

Gaston Reinesch

Gaston Reinesch

Governor, Banque centrale du Luxembourg

Josef Bonnici

Josef Bonnici

Governor, Central Bank of Malta

Klaas Knot

Klaas Knot

President, De Nederlandsche Bank

Ewald Nowotny

Ewald Nowotny

Governor, Oesterreichische Nationalbank

Carlos Costa

Carlos Costa

Governor, Banco de Portugal

Boštjan Jazbec

Boštjan Jazbec

Governor, Banka Slovenije

Jozef Makúch

Jozef Makúch

Governor, Národná banka Slovenska

Erkki Liikanen

Erkki Liikanen

Governor, Suomen Pankki - Finlands Bank