WRITTEN QUESTION P-3357/98
by Georges Berthu (NI) to the Commission
(30 October 1998)
Subject: Transfer of national central bank gold reserves to the ECB
On 21 October 1998, when the report on foreign currency reserves in the third stage of EMU was being considered in plenary sitting, I asked Commission Member Mr de Silguy if foreign currency reserves in gold currently held by national central banks would be physically transferred, in whole or in part, to Frankfurt. The different statements made at European level hitherto have remained ambiguous on that point. Nor was the question answered in the debate that followed. Can the Commission issue a formal answer?
Answer given by Mr de Silguy on behalf of the Commission
(15 December 1998)
According to Article 3 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and of the European Central Bank (ECB), the official foreign reserves of the Member States are held and managed by the ESCB.
Article 30 of the ESCB/ECB Statute specifies the conditions under which the ECB shall be provided with foreign reserve assets by the national central banks. It states that the ECB shall have the full right to hold and manage the foreign reserves that are transferred to it and to use them for the purpose set out in the Statute.
However, there are no plans for the physical transfer of gold reserves from the national central banks to the ECB.
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