13 - The role of national central banks within the European System of Central Banks: The example of De Nederlandsche Bank

Wetenschappelijke publicatie
Date 8 August 2002

This paper considers the position of national central banks within the ESCB. The fundamental framework underlying the ESCB is that of a system of central banks in which component institutions are individually and collectively responsible for carrying out various tasks. Within this framework, we evaluate the current division of labour between the ECB and NCBs using the concept of efficiency (which subsumes cost-consciousness as well as effectiveness), along with that of subsidiarity. In contrast to most of the existing literature, the focus is not exclusively on monetary policy, but takes into account a broader array of tasks performed by central banks. Taking a long-run perspective, it is argued that while some tasks are likely to be centralised, fundamental changes in the role of NCBs in the ESCB are linked to further political integration within Europe and the development of supranational institutions in other policy areas.