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The Governing Council is the main decision-making body of the European Central Bank.

It consists of: the six members of the Executive Board, plus the governors of the national central banks of the 19 euro area countries.

Its responsibilities include:

  • Adopt the guidelines and take the decisions necessary to ensure the performance of the tasks entrusted to the ECB and the Eurosystem.
  • 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.