The European Monetary Cooperation Fund (1973-93)
The European Monetary Cooperation Fund (“EMCF”, or “Fund”), was established in 1973 to increase cooperation between Member States working towards Economic and Monetary Union. It operated from Basel, with the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) providing the necessary administrative and technical support.
The Fund’s primary aim was to ensure the proper functioning of the progressive narrowing of the fluctuation margins between the Community currencies (the so called “Currency Snake”). It also monitored interventions on the exchange markets in Community currencies. Finally, it was responsible for the administration of short-term financing and for settlements between central banks, leading to a concerted policy on reserves.
From 1976, the Fund was also put in charge of carrying out the administration of Community loans to support the balance of payments of certain Member States. From 1979, with the introduction of the European Monetary System and the European Currency Unit (ECU), it carried out all tasks related to the creation, use and remuneration of ECUs.
The Fund’s Board of Governors consisted of the central bank governors who were part of the Committee of Governors, with the addition of a member and potentially even an alternate member from the European Commission. Following its first meeting, on 14 May 1973, the Board assigned the Bank for International Settlements as the agent to carry out the Fund’s operations in accordance with the relevant directives.
The Fund was dissolved on 1 January 1994, when its roles were taken over by the European Monetary Institute (EMI), while the Bank for International Settlements continued to operate as an agent for a transitional period until 15 May 1995.
The Fund records are paper based and consist of 153 boxes containing directives, decisions and files from meetings of the Board of Governors, reports and notifications of the Bank for International Settlements’ role as agent, as well as documentation about the foundation and the Community loans for Greece, Italy and France. Documents predominantly cover the period from 1973 to 2002 (with some copies of documents from 1953) and are mostly in English, French and German.
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EMCF 1.1 Foundation and constitution
This subsection covers the legal and organisational framework used to establish the EMCF and help it operate. It also covers the replacement of the EMCF by the European Monetary Institute (EMI). It includes the decisions and directives agreed on by the Board of Governors and the records of the Working Party on Staff Regulations of the EMCF (1973 – 1976).
EMCF 1.2 Financial administration and transactions
This subsection includes the Community loans made to France (1983), Greece (1985, 1991) and Italy (1993), as well as notifications and monthly surveys on foreign exchange and gold transactions, and on other operations.
EMCF 2.1 Meetings of the Board of Governors and other groups
This subsection covers the agendas, minutes and related documentation of the Board of Governors’ meetings, which took place between 14 May 1973 and 14 December 1993; and of the Working Parties on Staff Regulations’ meetings, which took place between 21 September 1973 and 30 April 1976.
EMCF 2.2 Reports of the Agent and the EMCF
This subsection covers statutory reports related to the EMCF’s activities, as well as reports carried out by the Agent on the financial operations in connection with the EEC’s borrowing and lending operations, and on the EMCF’s operations.