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On 5-6 June, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) will hold its external meeting in Vilnius. This will be the first time the Governing Council will take its monetary policy decisions in Lithuania.

“A key role of central banks is to conduct monetary policy. Together with the governors of the central banks of other euro area countries, we meet on a regular basis to assess economic and monetary policy developments and decide on further action, if necessary. In June, the decision‑making process will take place in Lithuania. This is an important meeting as we will be discussing the latest hard data, which will provide insight into the economic situation in the near and medium term,” said Vitas Vasiliauskas, Chairman of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania and Member of the ECB Governing Council.

The Governing Council – the main decision-making body of the ECB – usually meets twice a month at the ECB’s premises in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. It assesses economic and monetary developments and takes its monetary policy decisions, i.e. sets the key interest rates for the euro area, every six weeks. Once a year the ECB Governing Council holds an external meeting in one of the euro area countries. In 2017 the external meeting was held in Tallinn, the year before – in Riga.

The meeting in Vilnius is expected to host Mario Draghi, President of the ECB, the five other members of the ECB Executive Board, as well as the governors of the national central banks of the 19 euro area countries.

After the meeting, on 6 June, monetary policy decisions will be explained in detail at a press conference, which, as a rule, attracts worldwide media attention.

The monetary policy meeting of the ECB Governing Council as well as the press conference is chaired by the President of the ECB. This will be M. Draghi’s second official visit to Lithuania. The first one was in September 2014, when the country was preparing to adopt the euro.

Preparations for this high-level event started in the summer of 2018.