EU-funded Course on EU Integration, Governance and Compliance, October 4-8, 2021

November 09, 2021

In March 2019 the European Union (EU), 18 National Central Banks from the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB) launched a program for the benefit of six Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo[1], Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia). The purpose of the program is to enhance the institutional capacity of the recipient institutions, notably by strengthening their analytical and policy tools and by transferring the best international and European standards into national practices. The EU has allocated €2 million to the program from its Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA II). The program has two components: Component One comprises 20 training events on key central banking and supervisory issues, and two high-level policy workshops; Component Two consists of specific bilateral measures related to the Economic Reform Programmes (ERPs) of candidate countries and potential candidates. The Deutsche Bundesbank coordinates the activities of the program. Due to the pandemic the duration of the project was extended until December 2021.

As part of Component One, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) offered a virtual training event on EU integration, governance, and compliance, which dealt with major challenges for central banks in connection with their accession to the EU and the euro area. The speakers came from the OeNB’s EU and International Affairs Division, from the ECB and the National Bank of Romania.

The most topical issues that led to some lively discussions included: 

  • Practical experiences in preparing a central bank for EU accession;
  • Adaptation of the central bank laws including adaptation of the organizational structure using the example of OeNB, and with a view to future EU accession legal aspects of the activities of the ECB;
  • Compliance requirements within the ESCB, the Eurosystem, and the ECB;
  • The quality of the transformation process of the National Bank of Romania. Institutional convergence during the accession preparations.

The group of 26 participants consisted of highly motivated mid- to senior-level experts from central banks and supervisory authorities from the Western Balkan EU candidate countries and potential candidates. The feedback provided by the participants was very positive (4.7 points out of 5); an overwhelming majority of the participants indicated that the knowledge and information gained from the course would add value to their jobs. Moreover, participants expressed their gratitude to JVI staff for the excellent technical support. Many participants also emphasized that they would like to come back to Vienna in the future to attend a course held physically at the JVI in order to benefit from the JVI’s biggest asset—providing a platform for professionals to exchange their views and, at the same time, to make new friends, while enjoying the perfect hospitality of Vienna.

Thomas Gruber and Romana Lehner, Oesterreichische Nationalbank

[1] This designation is without prejudice to positions on status and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.

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