19th September 2014

Change to decision making in the ECB

Since Lithuania will join the eurozone on 1 January 2015 and thus the eurozone will consist of 19 states, a previewed change to decision making in the Governing Council of the ECB will come into effect. According to a piece of legislation approved by the Council in 2003, a rotating scheme will set the distribution of votes in the Governing Council. This change was introduced in order to assure smooth decision making in the ECB as the eurozone grows ever bigger. Since 2015, not all governors of national central banks will have voting rights at every meeting of the Governing Council. Countries of the eurozone are divided into two categories – group 1 consisting of the 5 largest eurozone economies and group 2 consisting of the remaining states. Of the 5 governors from group 1, 4 will hold a voting right in a given month. In group 2, 11 governors will be able to vote. Each month the distribution of votes will change according to rotation principle. The first distribution was decided by draw. From group 1, Spain will relinquish voting right in January 2015. The same goes for Estonia, Greece and Ireland from group 2. Then, in February 2015, the French governor will be unable to vote (group 1) together with the Cypriot one (group 2). The members of the Executive Board of the ECB are not subject to any voting rights change. Even though some governors will not participate in voting since January 2015, all Governing Council members will contribute to discussions. Since most decisions are taken by consensus, the change in voting rights distribution should not have major impact.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic