Monetary policy instruments

Maintaining price stability is the primary objective of monetary policy. In order to achieve that its primary objective, the Eurosystem uses a set of monetary policy instruments and procedures in which the national central banks perform a key role.

The Eurosystem uses the following categories of instruments:

  • open market operations, among which the main refinancing operations
  • standing facilities
  • minimum reserves

In addition, since 2009 the ECB has used several non-standard monetary policy instruments, such as asset purchase programmes and forward guidance, to complement the regular operations of the Eurosystem.