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ECB Governing Council decides to continue its current voting regime

18 December 2008

Today, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to continue its current voting regime and to introduce the rotation system only when the number of Governors and Presidents of the euro area national central banks (Governors) exceeds 18. The decision is based on Article 10.2 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank, as amended on 21 March 2003 by the EU Council, which established the principles of the new rotation system for the Governing Council.

The Article limits the number of voting rights of Governors to 15 and provides for a rotation of voting rights among them in the Governing Council, without affecting the voting rights of members of the Executive Board [1]. It furthermore stipulates that the Governing Council shall take all necessary measures to implement the principles of the rotation system. Article 10.2 also foresees the possibility to postpone the implementation of the rotation system until the number of Governors reaches 19. Either decision needs to be taken by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Governing Council [2].

The Governing Council has adopted ECB Decision ECB/2008/29 to postpone the start of the rotation system in the Governing Council of the European Central Bank. It will be published shortly in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website.

At the same time, the Governing Council decided on the main aspects for the implementation of the rotation system, to be applied once the number of Governors exceeds 18. Having analysed a number of models, the Governing Council opted for the following rotation model:

Governors will rotate in and out of the voting right after one month. The number of Governors rotating will be determined by the difference between the number of Governors and the number of votes allocated to each group minus two, taking the absolute value in case of a negative number. This rotation model achieves short periods without vote for individual Governors combined with relative stability of the composition of the voting college.

An ECB Decision on the implementation details of the rotation system will be adopted at a later stage and thereafter published in the Official Journal of the EU and on the ECB’s website. Once the rotation system enters into force, the list of Governors with a voting right will be published on the ECB’s website and updated regularly.

  1. [1] For a description of the rotation scheme see the ECB press release of 20 December 2002, entitled “Governing Council prepares for enlargement”

  2. [2] See also “The adjustment of voting modalities in the Governing Council” in the May 2003 issue of the ECB’s Monthly Bulletin, in particular the section entitled “Rules to allocate governors and voting rights to the groups”.


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