The European Central Bank (ECB) and the Central Bank of Montenegro (CBCG) completed a technical cooperation programme supporting the CBCG in its preparations for joining the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), which comprises the central banks of all European Union (EU) Member States, once the country has qualified for EU membership.
At the event held on the occasion of the conclusion of the programme, Benoȋt Cœuré, member of the Executive Board of the ECB, handed over a needs-assessment report to Milojica Dakić, Governor of CBCG. The report, which is a detailed analysis of the findings of the programme, concludes that the CBCG has moved forward in aligning its practices and policies with EU standards in several areas and presents recommendations for further improvement.
Mr Cœuré said: “We have seen seven months of intensive work and excellent cooperation designed to strengthen the institutional capacity of the central bank, an institution which is key to the overall macroeconomic and financial stability of Montenegro as it moves towards joining the European Union.”
The report identified areas in which the CBCG could make progress by implementing new rules or policies, changing practices and training staff over the coming years. It assessed some of the central bank’s functions in the light of EU and international standards and policies, including accounting, EU integration, financial and banking operations, financial stability, operational risk and business continuity, and statistics. The findings of the report will be incorporated into the CBCG’s strategic planning.
“The project is of great importance for both Montenegro and the Central Bank of Montenegro and we owe immense gratitude for its implementation to the European Central Bank, the European Union and the Montenegrin Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integrations. The CBCG will continue working responsibly on the implementation of communicated recommendations that represent another step forward towards membership of the ESCB.” Mr Dakić said at the press conference.
The programme, which was launched last September, involved a total of 13 experts from ten national central banks of the Eurosystem (Deutsche Bundesbank, Eesti Pank, Banque de France, Bank of Greece, Banca d’Italia, De Nederlandsche Bank, Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Banco de Portugal, Banka Slovenije and Národná banka Slovenska). It was funded by the EU with approximately €300,000 from its Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).
André Lys, Head of Cooperation Section at the Delegation of the European Union concluded “Through the programme, CBCG could benefit from the expertise of central banks of 10 EU Member States: the CBCG has now very concrete and practical recommendations on how to prepare for its future participation to the ESCB on an equal footing with other EU central banks”.
The programme is without prejudice to positions taken by the ECB or the EU Council with respect to the implications of the EU Treaties’ framework for Montenegro’s monetary regime, which will have to be assessed during the EU accession negotiations.