The ECB's governing bodies are supported by ESCB and SSM committees in carrying out their work. These committees play a key role in the ESCB's internal cooperation and offer advice in their respective areas of competence, thereby facilitating the decision-making process.
The ECB Governing Council is responsible for establishing and dissolving these committees, as well as for defining their tasks.
ESCB committees are composed of experts from the ECB and the Eurosystem’s national central banks (NCBs). In those dealing with the prudential supervision of credit institutions, experts from National Competent Authorities participating in the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) also take part. In addition, ESCB committees may include experts from the NBCs of non-euro area countries when dealing with matters within the General Council's area of competence. Likewise, representatives of other bodies can be invited to their meetings where deemed appropriate.
The committees assist in the work of the ECB’s decision-making bodies, and report to the Governing Council, which, like the Executive Board, has the right to request studies of specific topics. In the area of prudential supervision, the committees shall report to the Supervisory Board and, where appropriate, to the Governing Council.
The number and mandate of the ESCB committees has varied since they were instituted, but, in general, they reflect the remit of the ESCB and the SSM, as well as the tasks relating to their internal functioning.