Background: the EMI

The European Monetary Institute (EMI) was set up under the Maastricht Treaty on 1 January 1994, coinciding with the beginning of Stage Two of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), as the forum for monetary co-operation between the central banks in the European Community. The EMI thus assumed the tasks that had previously been performed by the Committee of Governors of the Central Banks since 1964.

The EMI had its headquarters in Frankfurt, and its members were the central banks of all the Member States of the European Union (EU).

Its tasks included the following:

  • Strengthening cooperation between central banks and the coordination of monetary policies.
  • Monitoring the functioning of the European Monetary System.
  • Facilitating the use of the European Currency Unit (ECU) and overseeing its development.
  • Monitoring the stability of financial institutions and markets.
  • Offering advice to Community or national bodies on any draft legislative provision that fell within the scope of its competence.
  • Monitoring the degree of compliance of Member States with the convergence criteria for access to the EMU, and reporting to the Council on the matter.

Its main objective was to contribute to EMU, making all the necessary preparations in monetary matters for the transition to Stage Three. The EMI therefore specified the regulatory, organisational and logistical framework needed for the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) to subsequently carry out its tasks.

On 1 June 1998, the EMI was dissolved when the European Central Bank (ECB) and the ESCB were established.