The Governing Council is the key decision-making body of the Eurosystem and makes all monetary policy decisions. The most important of these is the decision on the level of official interest rates.
The Governing Council generally meets twice a month and makes a decision on interest rates at the first meeting of the month. The main interest rate that the Governing Council decides on is the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations, while a decision is also taken on the interest rates for the standing facilities, i.e., the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility.
Interest rate decisions
Immediately following a rate-setting Governing Council meeting, the ECB issues a press release providing details of the interest rate decision. This is also the case when interest rates remain unchanged. The ECB subsequently holds a press conference during which the President outlines the reasons for the interest rate decision.
The press conference begins with an introductory statement, which is read out by the President, and is followed by a Q&A during which the President responds to questions from journalists. The text of the introductory statement is made available on the ECB’s website during the press conference and a transcript of the Q&A is posted on the website in the days following the press conference.
It is also possible to view this press conference on the ECB’s website as it is taking place.