Strategy review

Strategy Review

Scrutinising monetary policy

Between January 2020 and July 2021, the European Central Bank (ECB) in collaboration with  the 19 other central banks of the euro area, undertook a thorough assessment of their monetary policy strategy. The idea was to initiate an in-depth discussion of the numerous issues raised by monetary policy and ensure that the strategy continues to achieve what it is intended to do: guaranteeing stable, predictable prices.

Find out more about the results of that exercise:

Online listening event

On Friday, 22 January 2021 the NBB organised an online listening event in which representatives of Belgian civil society organisations shared their points of view on monetary policy. A recording of the listening event is available here.

The 28 civil society organisations taking part represented groups promoting the environment, sustainability, well-being, businesses, young people, the elderly, the arts and openness. During this virtual panel discussion, Pierre Wunsch (governor of the National Bank of Belgium) and Klaas Knot (president of the Nederlandsche Bank) listened to their representatives for three hours. Valerie Bauwens and Maxime Paquay moderated the discussions which focused on four themes: prices and price movements, expectations and concerns regarding the economy, other topical subjects, and communication. Several hundred people attended the event on line and were also able to state their views by responding to an online poll.

The discussions were wide-ranging and varied. The repercussions of the COVID‑19 pandemic were mentioned in connection with each theme. While there was often a consensus, there were sometimes also differences of opinion. The participants stressed the importance of stable prices: excessive prices for basic requirements such as food and housing are a source of concern. The current health crisis is causing a rather pessimistic view of the economy, even though monetary policy is considered to play a stabilising role. Inequality in all its forms and the climate merit greater attention, but the current price stability mandate seems too narrow to allow a response to those issues. In that context, clear, comprehensible and timely communication is essential.

See the full report on the online listening event “The NBB listens”.

“The NBB listens” portal

To supplement the digital panel discussion with the opinions of Belgian citizens, an internet portal “The NBB listens” has been set up. Using this portal, citizens have been able to answer thirteen open questions and thus share their points of view on four subjects: “price stability”, “economic themes”, “other themes” and “communication”.

See the report on the portal “The NBB listens”