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  [Table of Contents] [Previous]

Treaty Establishing the European Community

as Amended by Subsequent Treaties

ROME, 25 March 1957


CONTENTS

Protocols
Annexed by the Treaty on European Union to the Treaty Establishing the European Community

1 Property in Denmark

2 Article 119

3 ESCB and ECB Statute

  • CHAPTER I. CONSTITUTION OF THE ESCB

    [1]
  • CHAPTER II. OBJECTIVES AND TASKS OF THE ESCB

    [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]
  • CHAPTER III. ORGANIZATION OF THE ESCB

    [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16]
  • CHAPTER IV. MONETARY FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS OF THE ESCB

    [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]
  • CHAPTER V. PRUDENTIAL SUPERVISION

    [25]
  • CHAPTER VI. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS OF THE ESCB

    [26] [27] [28] [29] [30] [31] [32] [33]
  • CHAPTER VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS

    [34] [35] [36] [37] [38] [39] [40]
  • CHAPTER VIII. AMENDMENT OF THE STATUTE AND COMPLEMENTARY LEGISLATION

    [41] [42]
  • CHAPTER IX. TRANSITIONAL AND OTHER PROVISIONS FOR THE ESCB

    [43] [44] [45] [46] [47] [48] [49] [50] [51] [52] [53]
  • 4 EMI Statute

    [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

    5. Excessive deficit procedure

    [1] [2] [3] [4]

    6 Convergence criteria

    [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

    7 ECB Privileges and Immunities

    8 Denmark

    9 Portugal

    10 EMU third stage

    11 EMU and UK

    12 EMU and Denmark

    13 France

    14 Social Policy

    [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [1. Declaration on Article 2(2)] [2. Declaration on Article 4(2)]

    15 Economic and social cohesion

    16 Economic and Social Committee: Committee of the Regions

    17 Irish Constitution

    Declaration on Protocol 17


    Protocols

    Annexed by the Treaty on European Union to the Treaty Establishing the European Community

    [NB The formal clauses have been omitted, the titles shortened, and the texts numbered.]


    1 Property in Denmark

    -- Notwithstanding the provisions of this Treaty, Denmark may maintain the existing legislation on the acquisition of second homes.

    2 Article 119

    -- For the purposes of Article 119 of this Treaty, benefits under occupational social security schemes shall not be considered as remuneration if and in so far as they are attributable to periods of employment prior to 17 May 1990, except in the case of workers or those claiming under them who have before that date intitiated legal proceedings or introduced an equivalent claim under the applicable national law.

    3 ESCB and ECB Statute

    CHAPTER I. CONSTITUTION OF THE ESCB

    Article 1. The European System of Central Banks.

    1.1. The European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the European Central Bank (ECB) shall be established in accordance with Article 4a of this Treaty; they shall perform their tasks and carry on their activities in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty and of this Statute.

    1.2. In accordance with Article 106(1) on this Treaty, the ESCB shall be composed of the ECB and of the central banks of the Member States ('national central banks'). The Institut monfetaire luxembourgeois will be the central bank of Luxembourg.

    CHAPTER II. OBJECTIVES AND TASKS OF THE ESCB

    Article 2. Objectives

    In accordance with Article 105(1) of this Treaty, the primary objective of the ESCB shall be to maintain price stability. Without prejudice to the objective of price stability, it shall support the general economic policies in the Community with a view to contributing to the achievement of the objectives of the Community as laid down in Article 2 of this Treaty. The ESCB shall act in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition, favouring an efficient allocation of resources, and in compliance with the principles set out in Article 3a of this Treaty.

    Article 3. Tasks

    3.1. In accordance with Article 105(2) of this Treaty, the basic tasks to be carried out through the ESCB shall be:

    • to define and implement the monetary policy of the Community;
    • to conduct foreign exchange operations consistent with the provisions of Article 109 of this Treaty;
    • to hold and manage the official foreign reserves of the Member States;
    • to promote the smooth operation on payment systems.

    3.2. In accordance with Article 105(3) of this Treaty, the third indent of Article 3.1 shall be without prejudice to the holding and management by the governments of Member States of foreign exchange working balances.

    3.3. In accordance with Article 105(5) of this Treaty, the ESCB shall contribute to the smooth conduct of policies pursued by the competent authorities relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and the stability of the financial system.

    Article 4. Advisory functions

    In accordance with Article 105(4) of this Treaty:
    • (a) the ECB shall be consulted: -on any proposed Community act in its fields of competence; -by national authorities regarding any draft legislative provision in its fields of competence, but within the limits and under the conditions set out by the Council in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 42;
    • (b) the ECB may submit opinions to the appropriate Community institutions or bodies or to national authorities on matters in its fields of competence.

    Article 5. Collection of statistical information

    5.1. In order to undertake the tasks of the ESCB, the ECB, assisted by the national central banks, shall collect the necessary statistical information either from the competent national authorities or directly from economic agents. For these purposes it shall co-operate with the Community institutions or bodies and with the competent authorities of the Member States or third countries and with international organizations.

    5.2. The national central banks shall carry out, to the extent possible, the tasks described in Article 5.1.

    5.3. The ECB shall contribute to the harmonization, where necessary, of the rules and practices governing the collection, compilation and distribution of statistics in the areas within its fields of competence.

    5.4. The Council, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 42, shall define the natural and legal persons subject to reporting requirements, the confidentiality regime and the appropriate provisions for enforcement.

    Article 6. International co-operation

    6.1. In the field of international co-operation involving the tasks entrusted to the ESCB, the ECB shall decide how the ESCB shall be represented.

    6.2. The ECB and, subject to its approval, the national central banks may participate in international monetary institutions.

    6.3. Articles 6.1 and 6.2 shall be without prejudice to Article 109(4) of this Treaty.

    CHAPTER III. ORGANIZATION OF THE ESCB

    Article 7. Independence

    In accordance with Article 107 of this Treaty, when exercising the powers and carrying out the tasks and duties conferred upon them by this Treaty and this Statute, neither the ECB, nor a national central bank, nor any member of their decision-making bodies shall seek or take instructions from Community institutions or bodies, from any government of a Member State or from any other body. The Community institutions and bodies and the governments of the Member States undertake to respect this principle and not to seek to influence the members of the decision-making bodies of the ECB or of the national central banks in the performance of their tasks.

    Article 8. General principle

    The ESCB shall be governed by the decision-making bodies of the ECB.

    Article 9. The European Central Bank

    9.1. The ECB which, in accordance with Article 106(2) of this Treaty, shall have legal personality, shall enjoy in each of the Member States the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under its law; it may, in particular, acquire or dispose of movable and immovable property and may be a party to legal proceedings.

    9.2. The ECB shall ensure that the tasks conferred upon the ESCB under Article 105(2), (3) and (5) of this Treaty are implemented either by its own activities pursuant to this Statute or through the national central bank pursuant to Articles 12.1 and 14.

    9.3. In accordance with Article 106(3) of this Treaty, the decision-making bodies of the ECB shall be the Governing Council and the Executive Board.

    Article 10. The Governing Council

    10.1. In accordance with Article 109a(1) of this Treaty, the Governing Council shall comprise the members of the Executive Board of the ECB and the Governors of the national central banks.

    10.2. Subject to Article 10.3, only members of the Governing Council present in person shall have the right to vote. By way of derogation from this rule, the Rules of Procedure referred to in Article 12.3 may lay down that members of the Governing Council may cast their vote by means of teleconferencing. These rules shall also provide that a member of the Governing Council who is prevented from voting for a prolonged period may appoint an alternate as a member of the Governing Council.

    Subject to Articles 10.3 and 11.3, each member of the Governing Council shall have one vote. Save as otherwise provided for in this Statute, the Governing Council shall act by a simple majority. In the event of a tie the President shall have the casting vote.

    In order for the Governing Council to vote, there shall be a quorum of two-thirds of the members. If the quorum is not met, the President may convene an extraordinary meeting at which decisions may be taken without regard to the quorum.

    10.3. For any decisions to be taken under Articles 28, 29, 30, 32, 33 and 51, the votes in the Governing Council shall be weighted according to the national central banks' shares in the subscribed capital of the ECB. The weight of the votes of the members of the Executive Board shall be zero. A decision requiring a qualified majority shall be adopted if the votes cast in favour represent at least two thirds of the subscribed capital of the ECB and represent at least half of the shareholders. If a Governor is unable to be present, he may nominate an alternate to cast his weighted vote.

    10.4. The proceedings of the meetings shall be confidential. The Governing Council may decide to make the outcome of its deliberations public.

    10.5. The Governing Council shall meet at least ten times a year.

    Article 11. The Executive Board

    11.1. In accordance with Article 109a(2)(a) of this Treaty, the Executive Board shall comprise the President, the Vice-President and four other members.

    The members shall perform their duties on a full-time basis. No member shall engage in any occupation, whether gainful or not, unless exemption is exceptionally granted by the Governing Council.

    11.2. In accordance with Article 109a(2)(b) of this Treaty, the President, the Vice-President and the other Members of the Executive Board shall be appointed from among persons of recognized standing and professional experience in monetary or banking matters by common accord of the governments of the Member States at the level of the Heads of State or of government, on a recommendation from the Council after it has consulted the European Parliament and the Governing Council.

    Their term of office shall be 8 years and shall not be renewable.

    Only nationals of Member States may be members of the Executive Board.

    11.3. The terms and conditions of employment of the members of the Executive Board, in particular their salaries, pensions and other social security benefits shall be the subject of contracts with the ECB and shall be fixed by the Governing Council on a proposal from a Committee comprising three members appointed by the Governing Council and three members appointed by the Council. The members of the Executive Board shall not have the right to vote on matters referred to in this paragraph.

    11.4. If a member of the Executive Board no longer fulfils the conditions required for the performance of his duties or if he has been guilty of serious misconduct, the Court of Justice may, on application by the Governing Council or the Executive Board, compulsorily retire him.

    11.5. Each member of the Executive Board present in person shall have the right to vote and shall have, for that purpose, one vote. Save as otherwise provided, the Executive Board shall act by a simple majority of the votes cast. In the event of a tie, the President shall have the casting vote. The voting arrangements shall be specified in the Rules of Procedure referred to in Article 12.3.

    11.6. The Executive Board shall be responsible for the current business of the ECB.

    11.7. Any vacancy on the Executive Board shall be filled by the appointment of a new member in accordance with Article 11.2.

    Article 12. Responsibilities of the decision-making bodies

    12.1. The Governing Council shall adopt the guidelines and take the decisions necessary to ensure the performance of the tasks entrusted to the ESCB under this Treaty and this Statute. The Governing Council shall formulate the monetary policy of the Community including, as appropriate, decisions relating to intermediate monetary objectives, key interest rates and the supply of reserves in the ESCB and shall establish the necessary guidelines for their implementation.

    The Executive Board shall implement monetary policy in accordance with the guidelines and decisions laid down by the Governing Council. In doing so the Executive Board shall give the necessary instructions to national central banks. In addition the Executive Board may have certain powers delegated to it where the Governing Council so decides.

    To the extent deemed possible and appropriate and without prejudice to the provisions of this Article, the ECB shall have recourse to the national central banks to carry out operations which form part of the tasks of the ESCB.

    12.2. The Executive Board shall have the responsibility for the preparation of meetings of the Governing Council.

    12.3.The Governing Council shall adopt Rules of Procedure which determine the internal organization of the ECB and its decision-making bodies.

    12.4.The Governing Council shall exercise the advisory functions referred to in Article 4.

    12.5.The Governing Council shall take the decisions referred to in Article 6.

    Article 13. The President

    13.1. The President or, in his absence, the Vice-President shall chair the governing Council and the Executive Board of the ECB.

    13.2. Without prejudice to Article 39, the President or his nominee shall represent the ECB externally.

    Article 14. National Central Banks

    14.1. In accordance with Article 108 of this Treaty, each Member State shall ensure, at the latest at the date of the establishment of the ESCB, that its national legislation, including the statutes of its national central bank, is compatible with this Treaty and this Statute.

    14.2. The statutes of the national central banks shall, in particular, provide that the term of office of a Governor of a national central bank shall be no less than 5 years.

    A Governor may be relieved from office only if he no longer fulfils the conditions required for the performance of his duties or if he has been guilty of serious misconduct. A decision to this effect may be referred to the Court of Justice by the Governor concerned or the Governing Council on grounds of infringement of this Treaty or of any rule of law relating to its application. Such proceedings shall be instituted within two months of the publication of the decision or of its notification to the plaintiff or, in the absence thereof, of the day on which it came to knowledge of the latter, as the case may be.

    14.3. The national central banks are an integral part of the ESCB and shall act in accordance with the guidelines and instructions of ECB. The Governing Council shall take the necessary steps to ensure compliance with the guidelines and instructions of the ECB, and shall require that any necessary information be given to it.

    14.4. National central banks may perform functions other than those specified in this Statute unless the Governing Council finds, by a majority of two thirds of the votes cast, that these interfere with the objectives and tasks of the ESCB. Such functions shall be performed on the responsibility and liability of national central banks and shall not be regarded as being part of the functions of the ESCB.

    Article 15. Reporting commitments.

    15.1. The ECB shall draw up and publish reports on the activities of the ESCB at least quarterly.

    15.2. A consolidated financial statement of the ESCB shall be published each week.

    15.3. In accordance with Article 109b(3) of this Treaty, the ECB shall address an annual report on the activities of the ESCB and on the monetary policy of both the previous and the current year to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission, and also the European Council.

    15.4. The reports and statements referred to in this Article shall be made available to interested parties free of charge.

    Article 16. Bank notes.

    In accordance with Article 105a(1) of this Treaty, the Governing Council shall have the exclusive right to authorize the issue of bank notes within the Community. The ECB and the national central banks may issue such notes. The bank notes issued by the ECB and the national central banks shall be the only such notes to have the status of legal tender within the Community.

    The ECB shall respect as far as possible existing practices regarding the issue and design of bank notes.

    CHAPTER IV. MONETARY FUNCTIONS AND OPERATIONS OF THE ESCB

    Article 17. Accounts with the ECB and the national central banks.

    In order to conduct their operations, the ECB and the national central banks may open accounts for credit institutions, public entities and other market participants and accept assets, including book-entry securities, as collateral.

    Article 18. Open market and credit operations.

    18.1. In order to achieve the objectives of the ESCB and to carry out its tasks, the ECB and the national central banks may:

    • operate in the financial markets by buying and selling outright (spot or forward) or under repurchase agreement and by lending or borrowing claims and marketable instruments, whether in Community or in non-Community currencies, as well as precious metals;
    • conduct credit operations with credit institutions and other market participants, with lending being based on adequate collateral.

    18.2. The ECB shall establish general principles for open market and credit operations carried out by itself or the national central banks, including for the announcement of conditions under which they stand ready to enter into such transactions.

    Article 19. Minimum reserves

    19.1. Subject to Article 2, the ECB may require credit institutions established in Member States to hold minimum reserves on accounts with the ECB and national central banks in pursuance of monetary policy objectives. Regulations concerning the calculation and determination of the required minimum reserves may be established by the Governing Council. In cases of non-compliance the ECB shall be entitled to levy penalty interest and to impose other sanctions with comparable effect.

    19.2. For the application of this Article, the Council shall, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 42, define the basis for minimum reserves and the maximum reserves and the maximum permissible ratios between those reserves and their basis, as well as the appropriate sanctions in cases of non-compliance.

    Article 20. Other instruments of monetary control.

    The Governing Council may, by a majority of two thirds of the votes cast, decide upon the use of such other operational methods of monetary control as it sees fit, respecting Article 2.

    The Council shall, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 42, define the scope of such methods if they impose obligations on third parties.

    Article 21. Operations with public entities.

    21.1. In accordance with Article 104 of the Treaty, overdrafts or any other type of credit facility with the ECB or with the national central banks in favour of Community institutions or bodies, central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of Member States shall be prohibited, as shall the purchase directly from them by the ECB or national central banks of debt instruments.

    21.2. The ECB and national central banks may act as fiscal agents for the entities referred to in 21.1.

    21.3.The provisions of this Article shall not apply to publicly-owned credit institutions which, in the context of the supply of reserves by central banks, shall be given the same treatment by national central banks and the ECB as private credit institutions.

    Article 22. Clearing and payment systems

    The ECB and national central banks may provide facilities, and the ECB may make regulations, to ensure efficient and sound clearing and payment systems within the Community and with other countries.

    Article 23. External operations

    The ECB and national central banks may:
    • establish relations with central banks and financial institutions in other countries and, where appropriate, with international organizations;
    • acquire and sell spot and forward all types of foreign exchange assets and precious metals; the term 'foreign exchange asset' shall include securities and all other assets in the currency of any country or units of account in whatever form held;
    • hold and manage the assets referred to in this Article;
    • conduct all types of banking transactions in relations with third countries and international organizations, including borrowing and lending operations.

    Article 24. Other operations.

    In addition to operations arising from their tasks, the ECB and national central banks may enter into operations for their administrative purposes or for their staff.

    CHAPTER V. PRUDENTIAL SUPERVISION

    Article 25. Prudential supervision

    25.1. The ECB may offer advice to and be consulted by the Council, the Commission and the competent authorities of the Member States on the scope and implementation of Community legislation relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and to the stability of the financial system.

    25.2. In accordance with any decision of the Council under Article 105(6) of this Treaty, the ECB may perform specific tasks concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions with the exception of insurance undertakings.

    CHAPTER VI. FINANCIAL PROVISIONS OF THE ESCB

    Article 26. Financial accounts

    26.1. The financial year of the ECB and national central banks shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December.

    26.2. The annual accounts of the ECB shall be drawn up by the Executive Board, in accordance with the principles established by the Governing Council. The accounts shall be approved by the Governing Council and shall thereafter be published.

    26.3. For analytical and operational purposes, the Executive Board shall draw up a consolidated balance sheet of the ESCB, comprising those assets and liabilities of the national central banks that fall within the ESCB.

    26.4. For the application of this Article, the Governing Council shall establish the necessary rules for standardizing the accounting and reporting of operations undertaken by the national central banks.

    Article 27. Auditing

    27.1. The account of the ECB and national central banks shall be audited by independent external auditors recommended by the Governing Council and approved by the Council. The auditors shall have full power to examine all books and accounts of the ECB and national central banks and obtain full information about their transactions.

    27.2. The provisions of Article 188C of this Treaty shall only apply to an examination of the operational efficiency of the management of the ECB.

    Article 28. Capital of the ECB

    28.1. The capital of the ECB, which shall become operational upon its establishment, shall be ECU 5 000 million. The capital may be increased by such amounts as may be decided by the Governing Council acting by the qualified majority provided for in Article 10.3, within the limits and under the conditions set by the Council under the procedure laid down in Article 42.

    28.2. The national central banks shall be the sole subscribers to and holders of the capital of the ECB. The subscription of capital shall be according to the key established in accordance with Article 29.

    28.3. The Governing Council, acting by the qualified majority provided for in Article 10.3, shall determine the extent to which and the form in which the capital shall be paid up.

    28.4. Subject to Article 28.5, the shares of the national central banks in the subscribed capital of the ECB may not be transferred, pledged or attached.

    28.5. If the key referred to in Article 29 is adjusted, the national central banks shall transfer among themselves capital shares to the extent necessary to ensure that the distribution of capital shares corresponds to the adjusted key. The Governing Council shall determine the terms and conditions of such transfers.

    Article 29. Key for capital subscription

    29.1. When in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 109l(1) of this Treaty the ESCB and the ECB have been established, the key for subscription of the ECB's capital shall be established. Each national central bank shall be assigned a weighting in this key which shall be equal to the sum of:

    • 50% of the share of its respective Member State in the population of the Community in the penultimate year preceding the establishment of the ESCB;
    • 50% of the share of its respective Member State in the gross domestic product at market prices of the Community as recorded in the last five years preceding the penultimate year before the establishment of the ESCB;
    The percentages shall be rounded up to the nearest multiple o.os percentage points.

    29.2. The statistical data to be used for the application of this Article shall be provided by the Commission in accordance with the rules adopted by the Council under the procedure provided for in Article 42.

    29.3. The weighting assigned to the national central banks shall be adjusted every five years after the establishment of the ESCB by analogy with the provisions laid down in Article 29.1. The adjusted key shall apply with effect from the first day of the following year.

    29.4. The Governing Council shall take all other measures necessary for the application of this Article.

    Article 30. Transfer of foreign reserve assets to the ECB

    30.1. Without prejudice to Article 28, the ECB shall be provided by the national central banks with foreign reserve assets, other than Member States' currencies, ECUs, IMF reserve positions and SDRs, up to an amount equivalent to ECU 50 000 million. The Governing Council shall decide upon the proportion to be called up by the ECB following its establishment and the amounts called up at later dates. The ECB shall have the full right to hold and manage the foreign reserves that are transferred to it and to use them for the purposes set out in this Statute.

    30.2. The contributions of each national central bank shall be fixed in proportion to its share in the subscribed capital of the ECB.

    30.3. Each national central bank shall be credited by the ECB with a claim equivalent to its contribution. The Governing Council shall determine the denomination and remuneration of such claims.

    30.4. Further calls of foreign reserve assets beyond the limit set in Article 30.1 may be effected by the ECB, in accordance with Article 30.2 within the limits and under the conditions set by the Council in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 42.

    30.5. The ECB may hold and manage IMF reserve positions and SDRs and provide for the pooling of such assets.

    30.6. The Governing Council shall take all other measures necessary for the application of this Article.

    Article 31. Foreign reserve assets held by national central banks

    31.1. The national central banks shall be allowed to perform transactions in fulfilment of their obligations towards international organizations in accordance with Article 23.

    31.2. All other operations in foreign reserve assets remaining with the national central banks after the transfers referred to in Article 30 and Member States' transactions with their foreign exchange working balances shall, above a certain limit to be established within the framework of Article 31.3, be subject to approval by the ECB in order to ensure consistency with the exchange rate and monetary policies of the Community.

    31.3. The Governing Council shall issue guidelines with a view to facilitating such operations.

    Article 32. Allocation of monetary income of national central banks.

    32.1. The income accruing to the national central banks in the performance of the ESCB's monetary policy function (hereinafter referred to as 'monetary income') shall be allocated at the end of each financial year in accordance with the provisions of this Article.

    32.2. Subject to Article 32.3, the amount of each national central bank's monetary income shall be equal to its annual income derived from its assets held against notes in circulation and deposit liabilities to credit institutions. These assets shall be earmarked by national central banks in accordance with guidelines to be established by the Governing Council.

    32.3. If, after the start of the third stage, the balance sheet structures of the national central banks do not, in the judgment of the Governing Council, permit the application of Article 32.2, the Governing Council, acting by a qualified majority, may decide that, by way of derogation from Article 32.2, monetary income shall be measured according to an alternative method for a period of not more than five years.

    32.4. The amount of each national central bank's monetary income shall be reduced by an amount equivalent to any interest paid by that central bank on its deposit liabilities to credit institutions in accordance with Article 19. The Governing Council may decide that national central banks shall be indemnified against costs incurred in connection with the issue of bank notes or in exceptional circumstances for specific losses arising from monetary policy operations undertaken for the ESCB. Indemnification shall be in a form deemed appropriate in the judgment of the Governing Council; these amounts may be offset against the national central banks' monetary income.

    32.5. The sum of the national central banks' monetary income shall be allocated to the national central banks in proportion to their paid-up shares in the capital of the ECB, subject to any decision taken by the Governing Council pursuant to Article 33.2.

    32.6. The clearing and settlement of the balances arising from the allocation of monetary income shall be carried out by the ECB in accordance with guidelines established by the Governing Council.

    32.7. The Governing Council shall take all other measures necessary for the application of this Article.

    Article 33. Allocation of net profits and losses of the ECB

    33.1. The net profit of the ECB shall be transferred in the following order:

    • (a) an amount to be determined by the Governing Council, which may not exceed 20% of the net profit, shall be transferred to the general reserve fund subject to a limit equal to a 100% of the capital;
    • (b) the remaining net profit shall be distributed to the shareholders of the ECB in proportion to their paid-up shares.

    33.2. In the event of a loss incurred by the ECB, the shortfall may be offset against the general reserve fund of the ECB and, if necessary, following a decision by the Governing Council, against the monetary income of the relevant financial year in proportion and up to the amounts allocated to the national central banks in accordance with Article 32.5.

    CHAPTER VII. GENERAL PROVISIONS

    Article 34. Legal acts

    34.1. In accordance with Article 108a of this Treaty, the ECB shall:

    • make regulations to the extent necessary to implement the tasks defined in Article 3.1, first indent, Articles 19.1, 22 or 25.2 and in cases which shall be laid down in the acts of the Council referred to in Article 42;
    • take decisions necessary for carrying out the tasks entrusted to the ESCB under this Treaty and this Statute;
    • make recommendations and deliver opinions.

    34.2. A regulation shall have general application. It shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States. Recommendations and opinions shall have no binding force. A decision shall be binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed. Articles 190 to 192 of this Treaty shall apply to regulations and decisions adopted by the ECB. The ECB may decide to publish its decisions, recommendations and opinions.

    34.3. Within the limits and under the conditions adopted by the Council under the procedure laid down in Article 42, the ECB shall be entitled to impose fines or periodic penalty payments on undertakings for failure to comply with obligations under its regulations and decisions.

    Article 35. Judicial control and related matters

    35.1. The acts or omissions of the ECB shall be open to review or interpretation by the Court of Justice in the cases and under the conditions laid down in this Treaty. The ECB may institute proceedings in the cases and under the conditions laid down in this Treaty.

    35.2. Disputes between the ECB, on the one hand, and its creditors, debtors or any other person, on the other, shall be decided by the competent national courts, save where jurisdiction has been conferred upon the Court of Justice.

    35.3. The ECB shall be subject to the liability regime provided for in Article 215 of this Treaty. The national central banks shall be liable according to their respective national laws.

    35.4. The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to give judgment pursuant to any arbitration clause contained in a contract concluded by or on behalf of the ECB, whether that contract be governed by public or private law.

    35.5. A decision of the ECB to bring an action before the Court of Justice shall be taken by the Governing Council.

    35.6. The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in disputes concerning the fulfilment by a national central bank of obligations under this Statute. If the ECB considers that a national central bank has failed to fulfill an obligation under this Statute, it shall deliver a reasoned opinion on the matter after giving the national central bank concerned the opportunity to submit its observations. If the national central bank concerned does not comply with the opinion within the period laid down by the ECB, the latter may bring the matter before the Court of Justice.

    Article 36. Staff

    36.1. The Governing Council, on a proposal from the Executive Board, shall lay down the conditions of employment of the staff of the ECB.

    36.2. The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in any dispute between the ECB and its servants within the limits and under the conditions laid down in the conditions of employment.

    Article 37. Seat

    Before the end of 1992, the decision as to where the seat of the ECB will be established shall be taken by common accord of the governments of the Member States at the level of Heads of State or of Government.

    Article 38. Professional secrecy

    38.1. Members of the governing bodies and the staff of the ECB and the national central banks shall be required, even after their duties have ceased, not to disclose information of the kind covered by the obligation of professional secrecy.

    38.2. Persons having access to data covered by Community legislation imposing an obligation of secrecy shall be subject to such legislation.

    Article 39. Signatories

    The ECB shall be legally committed to third parties by the President or by two members of the Executive Board or by the signatures of two members of the staff of the ECB who have been duly authorized by the President to sign on behalf of the ECB.

    Article 40. Privileges and immunities.

    The ECB shall enjoy in the territories of the Member States such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the performance of its tasks, under the conditions laid down in the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities annexed to the Treaty establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities.

    CHAPTER VIII. AMENDMENT OF THE STATUTE AND COMPLEMENTARY LEGISLATION

    Article 41. Simplified amendment procedure

    41.1. In accordance with Article 106(5) of this Treaty, Articles 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 17, 18, 19.1, 22, 23, 24, 26, 32.2, 32.3, 32.4, 32.6, 33.1(a) and 36 of this Statute may be amended by the Council, acting either by a qualified majority on a recommendation from the ECB and after consulting the Commission, or unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the ECB. In either case the assent of the European Parliament shall be required.

    41.2. A recommendation made by the ECB under this Article shall require a unanimous decision by the Governing Council.

    Article 42. Complementary legislation

    In accordance with Article 106(6) of this Treaty, immediately after the decision on the date for the beginning of the third stage, the Council, acting by a qualified majority either on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament and the ECB or on a recommendation from the ECB and after consulting the European Parliament and the Commission, shall adopt the provisions referred to in Articles 4, 5.4, 19.2, 20, 28.1, 29.2, 30.4, and 34.3 of this Statute.

    CHAPTER IX. TRANSITIONAL AND OTHER PROVISIONS FOR THE ESCB

    Article 43. General Provisions

    43.1. A derogation as referred to in Article 109k(1) of this Treaty shall entail that the following Articles of this Statute shall not confer any rights or impose any obligations on the Member State concerned: 3, 16, 9.2, 12.1, 14.3, 16, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 26.2, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 50 and 52.

    43.2. The central banks of Member States with derogation as specified in Article 109k(1) of this Treaty shall retain their powers in the field of monetary policy according to national law.

    43.3. In accordance with Article 109k(4) of this Treaty, 'Member States' shall be read as 'Member States without derogation' in the following Articles of this Statute: 3, 11.2, 19, 34.2 and 50.

    43.4. 'National central banks' shall be read as 'central banks of Member States without a derogation' in the following Articles of this Statute: 9.2, 10.1, 10.3, 12.1, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 27, 30, 31, 32, 33.2 and 52.

    43.5. 'Shareholders' shall be read as 'central banks of Member States without a derogation' in Articles 10.3 and 33.1.

    43.6. 'Subscribed capital of the ECB' shall be read as 'capital of the ECB subscribed by the central banks of Member States without a derogation' in Articles 10.3 and 30.2.

    Article 44. Transitional tasks of the ECB

    The ECB shall take over those tasks of the EMI which, because of the derogations of one or more Member States, still have to be performed in the third stage.

    The ECB shall give advice in the preparations for the abrogation of the derogations specified in Article 109k of this Treaty.

    Article 45. The General Council of the ECB

    45.1. Without prejudice to Article 106(3) of this Treaty, the General Council shall be constituted as a third decision-making body of the ECB.

    45.2. The General Council shall comprise the President and Vice-President of the ECB and the Governors of the national central banks. The others members of the Executive Board may participate, without having the right to vote, in meetings of the General Council.

    45.3. The responsibilities of the General Council are listed in full in Article 47 of this Statute.

    Article 46. Rules of procedure of the General Council

    46.1. The President or, in his absence, the Vice-President of the ECB shall chair the General Council of the ECB.

    46.2. The President of the Council and a member of the Commission may participate, without having the right to vote, meetings of the General Council.

    46.3. The President shall prepare the meetings of the General Council.

    46.4. By way of derogation from Article 12.3, the General Council shall adopt its Rules of Procedure.

    46.5. The Secretariat of the General Council shall be provided by the ECB.

    Article 47. Responsibilities of the General Council

    47.1. The General Council shall:

    • perform the tasks referred to in Article 44;
    • contribute to the advisory functions referred to in Articles 4 and 25.1.

    47.2. The General Council shall contribute to:

    • the collection of statistical information as referred to in Article 5;
    • the reporting activities of the ECB as referred to in Article 15;
    • the establishment of the necessary rules for the application of Article 26 as referred to in Article 26.4;
    • the taking of all other measures necessary for the application of Article 29 as referred to in Article 29.4;
    • the laying down of the conditions of employment of the staff of the ECB as referred to in Article 36.

    47.3. The General Council shall contribute to the necessary preparations for irrevocably fixing the exchange rates of the currencies of Member States with a derogation against the currencies, or the single currency, of the Member States without a derogation, as referred to in Article 109(5) of this Treaty.

    47.4. The General Council shall be informed by the President of the ECB of decisions of the Governing Council.

    Article 48. Transitional provisions for the capital of the ECB

    In accordance with Article 29.1 each national central bank shall be assigned a weighting in the key for subscription of the ECB's capital. By way of derogation from Article 28.3, central banks of Member States with a derogation shall not pay up their subscribed capital unless the General Council, acting by a majority representing at least two thirds of the subscribed capital of the ECB and at least half of the shareholders, decides that a minimal percentage has to be paid up as a contribution to the operational costs of the ECB.

    Article 49. Deferred payment of capital, reserves and provisions of the ECB

    49.1. The central bank of a Member State whose derogation has been abrogated shall pay up its subscribed share of the capital of the ECB to the same extent as the central banks of other Member States without a derogation, and shall transfer to the ECB foreign reserve assets in accordance with Article 30.1. The sum to be transferred shall be determined by multiplying the ECU value at current exchange rates of the foreign reserve assets which have already been transferred to the ECB in accordance with Article 30.1, by the ratio between the number of shares subscribed by the national central bank concerned and the number of shares already paid up by the other national central banks.

    49.2. In addition to the payment to be made in accordance with Article 49.1, the central bank concerned shall contribute to the reserves of the ECB, to those provisions equivalent to reserves, and to the amount still to be appropriated to the reserves and provisions corresponding to the balance of the profit and loss account as at 31 December of the year prior to the abrogation of the derogation. The sum to be contributed shall be determined by multiplying the amount of the reserves, as defined above and as stated in the approved balance sheet of the ECB, by the ratio between the number of shares subscribed by the central bank concerned and the number of shares already paid up by the other central banks.

    Article 50. Initial appointment of the members of the Executive Board.

    When the Executive Board of the ECB is being established, the President, the Vice-President and the other members of the Executive Board shall be appointed by common accord of the governments of the Member States at the level of Heads of State or of Government, on a recommendation from the Council and after consulting the European Parliament and the Council of the EMI. The President of the Executive Board shall be appointed for 8 years. By way of derogation from Article 11.2, the Vice-President shall be appointed for 4 years and the other members of the Executive Board for terms of office of between 5 and 8 years. No term of office shall be renewable. The number of members of the Executive Board may be smaller than provided for in Article 11.1, but in no circumstance shall it be less than four.

    Article 51. Derogation from Article 32

    51.1. If, after the start of the third stage, the Governing Council decides that the application of Article 32 results in significant changes in national central banks' relative income positions, the amount of income to be allocated pursuant to Article 32 shall be reduced by a uniform percentage which shall not exceed 60% in the first financial year after the start of the third stage and which shall decrease by at least 12 percentage points in each subsequent financial year.

    51.2. Article 51.1 shall be applicable for not more than five financial years after the start of the third stage.

    Article 52. Exchange of bank notes in Community currencies.

    Following the irrevocable fixing of exchange rates, the Governing Council shall take the necessary measures to ensure that bank notes denominated in currencies with irrevocably fixed exchange rates are exchanged by the national central banks at their respective par values.

    Article 53. Applicability of the transitional provisions

    If and as long as there are Member States with a derogation Articles 43 to 48 shall be applicable.

    4 EMI Statute

    Article 1. Constitution and name

    1.1. The European Monetary Institute (EMI) shall be established in accordance with Article Iogf of this Treaty; it shall perform its functions and carry out its activities in accordance with the provisions of this Treaty and of this Statute.

    1.2. The members of the EMI shall be the central banks of the Member States ('national central banks'). For the purposes of the Statute, the Institut monetaire luxembourgeois shall be regarded as the central bank of Luxembourg.

    1.3. Pursuant to Article 109f of this Treaty, both the Committee of Governors and the European Monetary Co-operation Fund (EMCF) shall be dissolved. All assets and liabilities of the EMCF shall pass automatically to the EMI.

    Article 2. Objectives

    The EMI shall contribute to the realization of the conditions necessary for the transition to the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union, in particular by:
    • strengthening the co-ordination of monetary policies with a view to ensuring price stability;
    • making the preparations required for the establishment of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), and for the conduct of a single monetary policy and the creation of a single currency in the third stage;
    • overseeing the development of the ecu.

    Article 3. General principles

    3.1. The EMI shall carry out the tasks and functions conferred upon it by this Treaty and this Statute without prejudice to the responsibility of the competent authorities for the conduct of the monetary policy within the respective Member States.

    3.2. The EMI shall act in accordance with the objectives and principles stated in Article 2 of the Statute of the ESCB.

    Article 4. Primary tasks

    4.1. In accordance with Article 109f(2) of this Treaty, the EMI shall:

    • strengthen co-operation between the national central banks;
    • strengthen the co-ordination of the monetary policies of the Member States with the aim of ensuring price stability;
    • monitor the functioning of the European Monetary System (EMS);
    • hold consultations concerning issues falling within the competence of the national central banks and affecting the stability of financial institutions and markets;
    • take over the tasks of the EMCF; in particular it shall perform the functions referred to in Articles 6.1, 6.2 and 6.3;
    • facilitate the use of the ecu and oversee its development, including the smooth functioning of the ecu clearing system.
    The EMI shall also:
    • hold regular consultations concerning the course of monetary policies and the use of monetary policy instruments;
    • normally be consulted by the national monetary authorities before they take decisions on the course of monetary policy in the context of the common framework for ex ante co-ordination.

    4.2. At the latest by 31 December 1996, the EMI shall specify the regulatory, organizational and logistical framework necessary for the ESCB to perform its tasks in the third stage, in accordance with the principle of an open market economy with free competition. This framework shall be submitted by the Council of the EMI for decision to the ECB at the date of its establishment. In accordance with Article 109f(3) of this Treaty, the EMI shall in particular:

    • prepare the instruments and the procedures necessary for carrying out a single monetary policy in the third stage;
    • promote the harmonization, where necessary, of the rules and practices governing the collection, compilation and distribution of statistics in the areas within its field of competence;
    • prepare the rules for operations to be undertaken by the national central banks in the framework of the ESCB;
    • promote the efficiency of cross-border payments;
    • supervise the technical preparation of ecu bank notes.

    Article 5. Advisory functions.

    5.1. In accordance with Article 109f(4) of this Treaty, the Council of the EMI may formulate opinions or recommendations on the overall orientation of monetary policy and exchange rate policy as well as on related measures introduced in each Member State. The EMI may submit opinions or recommendations to governments and to the Council on policies which might affect the internal or external monetary situation in the Community and, in particular, the functioning of the EMS.

    5.2. The Council of the EMI may also make recommendations to the monetary authorities of the Member States concerning the conduct of their monetary policy.

    5.3. In accordance with Article 109f(6) of this Treaty, the EMI shall be consulted by the Council regarding any proposed Community act within its field of competence. Within the limits and under the conditions set out by the Council acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament and the EMI shall be consulted by the authorities of the Member States on any draft legislative provision within its field of competence, in particular with regard to Article 4.2.

    5.4. In accordance with Article 109f(5) of this Treaty, the EMI may decide to publish its opinions and its recommendations.

    Article 6. Operational and technical functions

    6.1. The EMI shall;

    • provide for the multilateralization of positions resulting from interventions by the national central banks in Community currencies and the multilateralization of intra-Community settlements;
    • administer the very short-term financing mechanism provided for by the Agreement of 13 March 1979 between the central banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community laying down the operating procedures for the European Monetary System (hereinafter referred to as 'EMS Agreement') and the short-term monetary support mechanism provided for in the Agreement between the central banks of the Member States of the European Economic Community of 9 February 1970, as amended;
    • perform the functions referred to in Article 11 of Council Regulation (EEC) No 1969/88 of 24 June 1988 establishing a single facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States' balances of payments.

    6.2. The EMI may receive monetary reserves from the national central banks and issue ecus against such assets for the purpose of implementing the EMS Agreement. These ecus may be used by the EMI and the national central banks as a means of settlement and for transactions between them and the EMI. The EMI shall take the necessary administrative measures for the implementation of this paragraph.

    6.3. The EMI may grant to the monetary authorities of third countries and to international monetary institutions the status of 'Other Holders' of ecus and fix the terms and conditions under which such ecus may be acquired, held or used by Other Holders.

    6.4. The EMI shall be entitled to hold and manage foreign exchange reserves as an agent for and at the request of national central banks. Profits and losses regarding these reserves shall be for the account of the national central bank depositing the reserves. The EMI shall perform this function on the basis of bilateral contracts in accordance with rules laid down in a decision of the EMI. These rules shall ensure that transactions with these reserves shall not interfere with the monetary policy and exchange rate policy of the competent monetary authority of any Member State and shall be consistent with the objectives of the EMI and the proper functioning of the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the EMS.

    Article 7. Other tasks

    7.1. Once a year the EMI shall address a report to the Council on the state of the preparations for the third stage. These reports shall include an assessment of the progress towards convergence in the Community, and cover in particular the adaptation of monetary policy instruments and the preparation of the procedures necessary for carrying out a single monetary policy in the third stage, as well as the statutory requirements to be fulfilled for national central banks to become an integral part of the ESCB.

    7.2. In accordance with the Council decisions referred to in Article 109f(7) of this Treaty, the EMI may perform other tasks for the preparation of the third stage.

    Article 8. Independence

    The members of the Council of the EMI who are the representatives of their institutions shall, with respect to their activities, act according to their own responsibilities. In exercising the powers and performing the tasks and duties conferred upon them by this Treaty and this Statute, the Council of the EMI may not seek or take any instructions from Community institutions or bodies or governments of Member States. The Community institutions and bodies as well as the governments of the Member States undertake to respect this principle and not seek to influence the Council of the EMI in the performance of its tasks.

    Article 9. Administration

    9.1. In accordance with Article 109f(1) of this Treaty, the EMI shall be directed and managed by the Council of the EMI.

    9.2. The Council of the EMI shall consist of a President and the Governors of the national central banks, one of whom shall be Vice-President. If a Governor is prevented from attending a meeting, he may nominate another representative of his institution.

    9.3. The President shall be appointed by common accord of the governments of the Member States at the level of Heads of State or of Government, on a recommendation from, as the case may be, the Committee of Governors or the Council of the EMI, and after consulting the European Parliament and the Council. The President shall be selected from among persons of recognized standing and professional experience in monetary or banking matters. Only nationals of Member States may be President of the EMI. The Council of the EMI shall appoint the Vice-President. The President and Vice-President shall be appointed for a period of three years.

    9.4. The President shall perform his duties on a full-time basis. He shall not engage in any occupation, whether gainful or not, unless exemption is exceptionally granted by the Council of the EMI.

    9.5. The President shall:

    • prepare and chair meetings of the Council of the EMI;
    • without prejudice to Article 22, present the views of the EMI externally;
    • be responsible for the day-to-day management of the EMI.
    In the absence of the President, his duties shall be performed by the Vice-President.

    9.6. The terms and conditions of employment of the President, in particular his salary, pension and other social security benefits, shall be the subject of a contract with the EMI and shall be fixed by the Council of the EMI on a proposal from a Committee comprising three members appointed by the Committee of Governors or the Council of the EMI, as the case may be, and three members appointed by the Council. The President shall not have the right to vote on matters referred to in this paragraph.

    9.7. If the President no longer fulfils the conditions required for the performance of his duties or if he has been guilty of serious misconduct, the Court of Justice may, on application by the Council of the EMI, compulsorily retire him.

    9.8. The Rules of Procedure of the EMI shall be adopted by the Council of the EMI.

    Article 10. Meetings of the Council of the EMI and voting procedures

    10.1. The Council of the EMI shall meet at least ten times a year. The proceedings of Council meetings shall be confidential. The Council of the EMI may, acting unanimously, decide to make the outcome of its deliberations public.

    10.2. Each member of the Council of the EMI or his nominee shall have one vote.

    10.3. Save as otherwise provided for in this Statute, the Council of the EMI shall act by a simple majority of its members.

    10.4. Decisions to be taken in the context of Articles 4.2, 5.4, 6.2, and 6.3 shall require unanimity of the members of the Council of the EMI.

    The adoption of opinions and recommendations under Articles 5.1 and 5.2, the adoption of decisions under Articles 6.4, 16 and 23.6 and the adoption of guidelines under Article 15.3 shall require a qualified majority of two thirds of the members of the Council of the EMI.

    Article 11. Inter-institutional co-operation and reporting requirements

    11.1. The President of the Council and a member of the Commission may participate, without having the right to vote, in meetings of the Council of the EMI.

    11.2. The President of the EMI shall be invited to participate in Council meetings when the Council is discussing matters relating to the objectives and tasks of the EMI.

    11.3. At a date to be established in the Rules of Procedure, the EMI shall prepare an annual report on its activities and on monetary and financial conditions in the Community. The annual report, together with the annual accounts of the EMI, shall be addressed to the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission and also to the European Council. The President of the EMI may, at the request of the European Parliament or on his own initiative, be heard by the competent Committees of the European Parliament.

    11.4. Reports published by the EMI shall be made available to interested parties free of charge.

    Article 12. Currency denomination

    The operations of the EMI shall be expressed in ecus.

    Article 13. Seat

    Before the end of 1992, the decision as to where the seat of the EMI will be established shall be taken by common accord of the governments of the Member States at the level of Heads of State or of Government.

    Article 14. Legal capacity

    The EMI, which in accordance with Article 109f(1) of this Treaty shall have legal personality, shall enjoy in each of the Member States the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under their law; it may, in particular, acquire or dispose of movable or immovable property and may be a party to legal proceedings.

    Article 15. Legal acts

    15.1. In the performance of its tasks, and under the conditions laid down in this Statute, the EMI shall:

    • deliver opinions;
    • make recommendations;
    • adopt guidelines, and take decisions, which shall be addressed to the national central banks.

    15.2. Opinions and recommendations of the EMI shall have no binding force.

    15.3. The Council of the EMI may adopt guidelines laying down the methods for the implementation of the conditions necessary for the ESCB to perform its functions in the third stage. EMI guidelines shall have no binding force; they shall be submitted for decision to the ECB.

    15.4. Without prejudice to Article 3.1, a decision of the EMI shall be binding in its entirety upon those to whom it is addressed. Articles 190 and 191 of this Treaty shall apply to these decisions.

    Article 16. Financial resources

    16.1. The EMI shall be endowed with its own resources. The size of the resources of the EMI shall be determined by the Council of the EMI with a view to ensuring the income deemed necessary to cover the administrative expenditure incurred in the performance of the tasks and functions of the EMI.

    16.2. The resources of the EMI determined in accordance with Article 16.1 shall be provided out of contributions by the national central banks in accordance with the key referred to in Article 29.1 of the Statute of the ESCB and be paid up at the establishment of the EMI. For this purpose, the statistical data to be used for the determination of the key shall be provided by the Commission, in accordance with the rules adopted by the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, the Committee of Governors and the Committee referred to in Article IO9C of this Treaty.

    16.3. The Council of the EMI shall determine the form in which contributions shall be paid up.

    Article 17. Annual accounts and auditing

    17.1. The financial year of the EMI shall begin on the first day of January and end on the last day of December.

    17.2. The Council of the EMI shall adopt an annual budget before the beginning of each financial year.

    17.3. The annual accounts shall be drawn up in accordance with the principles established by the Council of the EMI. The annual accounts shall be approved by the Council of the EMI and shall thereafter be published.

    17.4. The annual accounts shall be audited by independent external auditors approved by the Council of the EMI. The auditors shall have full power to examine all books and accounts of the EMI and to obtain full information about its transactions. The provisions of Article 188c of this Treaty shall only apply to an examination of the operational efficiency of the management of the EMI.

    17.5. Any surplus of the EMI shall be transferred in the following order

    • (a) an amount to be determined by the Council of the EMI shall be transferred to the general reserve fund of the EMI.
    • (b) any remaining surplus shall be distributed to the national central banks in accordance with the key referred to in Article 16.2.

    17.6.In the event of a loss incurred by the EMI, the shortfall shall be offset against the general reserve fund of the EMI. Any remaining shortfall shall be made good by contributions from the national central banks, in accordance with the key as referred to in Article 16.2.

    Article 18. Staff

    18.1. The Council of the EMI shall lay down the conditions of employment of the staff of the EMI.

    18.2. The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in any dispute between the EMI and its servants within the limits and under the conditions laid down in the conditions of employment.

    Article 19. Judicial control and related matters.

    19.1. The acts or omissions of the EMI shall be open to review or interpretation by the Court of Justice in the cases and under the conditions laid down in this Treaty. The EMI may institute proceedings in the cases and under the conditions laid down in this Treaty.

    19.2. Disputes between the EMI, on the one hand, and its creditors, debtors or any other person, on the other, shall fall within the jurisdiction of the competent national courts, save where jurisdiction has been conferred upon the Court of Justice.

    19.3. The EMI shall be subject to the liability regime provided for in Article 215 of this Treaty.

    19.4. The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction to give judgment pursuant to any arbitration clause contained in a contract concluded by or on behalf of the EMI, whether that contract be governed by public or private law.

    19.5. A decision of the EMI to bring an action before the Court of Justice shall be taken by the Council of the EMI.

    Article 20. Professional Secrecy

    20.1. Members of the Council of the EMI and the staff of the EMI shall be required, even after their duties have ceased, not to disclose information of the kind covered by the obligation of professional secrecy.

    20.2. Persons having access to data covered by Community legislation imposing an obligation of secrecy shall be subject to such legislation.

    Article 21. Privileges and immunities

    The EMI shall enjoy in the territories of the Member States such privileges and immunities as are necessary for the performance of its tasks, under the conditions laid down in the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities annexed to the Treaty establishing a Single Council and a Single Commission of the European Communities.

    Article 22. Signatories

    The EMI shall be legally committed to third parties by the President or the Vice-President or by the signatures of two members of the staff of the EMI who have been duly authorized by the President to sign on behalf of the EMI.

    Article 23. Liquidation of the EMI

    23.1. In accordance with Article 109l of this Treaty, the EMI shall go into liquidation on the establishment of the ECB. All assets and liabilities of the EMI shall then pass automatically to the ECB. The latter shall liquidate the EMI according to the provisions of this Article. The liquidation shall be completed by the beginning of the third stage.

    23.2. The mechanism for the creation of ECUs against gold and US dollars as provided for by Article 17 of the EMS agreement shall be unwound by the first day of the third stage in accordance with Article 20 of the said Agreement.

    23.3. All claims and liabilities arising from the very short-term financing mechanism and the short-term monetary support mechanism, under the Agreements referred to in Article 6.1, shall be settled by the first day of the third stage.

    23.4. All remaining assets of the EMI shall be disposed of and all remaining liabilities of the EMI shall be settled.

    23.5. The proceeds of the liquidation described in Article 23.4 shall be distributed to the national central banks in accordance with the key referred to in Article 16.2.

    23.6. The Council of the EMI may take the measures necessary for the application of Articles 23.4 and 23.5.

    23.7. Upon the establishment of the ECB, the President of the EMI shall relinquish his office.


    5. Excessive deficit procedure

    Article 1. The reference values referred to in Article 104c(2) of this Treaty are:

    • 3% for the ratio of the planned or actual government deficit to gross domestic product at market prices;
    • 60% for the ratio of government debt to gross domestic product at market prices.

    Article 2. In Article 104c of this Treaty and in this Protocol:

    • government means general government, that is central government, regional or local government and social security funds, to the exclusion of commercial operations, as defined in the European System of Integrated Economic Accounts;
    • deficit means net borrowing as defined in the European System of Integrated Economic Accounts;
    • investment means gross fixed capital formation as defined in the European System of Integrated Economic Accounts;
    • debt means total gross debt at nominal value outstanding at the end of the year and consolidated between and within the sectors of general government as defined in the first indent.

    Article 3. In order to ensure the effectiveness of the excessive deficit procedure, the governments of the Member States shall be responsible under this procedure for the deficits of general government as defined in the first indent of Article 2. The Member States shall ensure that national procedures in the Budgetary area enable them to meet their obligations in this area deriving from this Treaty. The Member States shall report their planned and actual deficits and the levels of their debt promptly and regularly to the Commission.

    Article 4. The statistical data to be used for the application of this Protocol shall be provided by the Commission.


    6 Convergence criteria

    Article 1. The criterion on price stability referred to in the first indent of Article 109j(1) of this Treaty shall mean that a Member State has a price performance that is sustainable and an average rate of inflation, observed over a period of one year before the examination, that does not exceed by more than 1 1/2 percentage points that of, at most, the three best performing Member States in terms of price stability. Inflation shall be measured by means of the consumer price index on a comparable basis taking into account differences in national definitions.

    Article 2. The criterion on the government budgetary position referred to in the second indent of Article 109j(1) of this treaty shall mean that at the time of the examination the Member State is not the subject of a Council decision under Article 104c(6) of this Treaty that an excessive deficit exists.

    Article 3. The criterion on participation in the Exchange Rate mechanism of the European Monetary System referred to in the third indent of Article 109j(1) of this Treaty shall mean that a Member State has respected the normal fluctuation margins provided for by the Exchange Rate Mechanism of the European Monetary System without severe tensions for at least the last two years before the examination. In particular, the Member State shall not have devalued its currency's bilateral central rate against any other Member State's currency on its own initiative for the same period.

    Article 4. The criterion on the convergence of interest rates referred to in the fourth indent of Article 109j(1) of this Treaty shall mean that, observed over a period of one year before the examination, a Member State has had an average nominal long-term interest rate that does not exceed by more than 2 percentage points that of, at most, the three best performing Member States in terms of price stability. Interest rates shall be measured on the basis of long term government bonds or comparable securities, taking into account differences in national definitions.

    Article 5. The statistical data to be used for the application of this protocol shall be provided by the Commission.

    Article 6. The Council shall, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, the EMI or the ECB as the case may be, and the Committee referred to in Article 109c, adopt appropriate provisions to lay down the details of the convergence criteria referred to in Article 109j of this Treaty, which shall then replace this Protocol.


    7 ECB Privileges and Immunities

    (see art. 23 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the EC.)


    8 Denmark

    The provisions of Article 14 of the Protocol on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank shall not affect the right of the National Bank of Denmark to carry out its existing tasks concerning those parts of the Kingdom of Denmark which are not part of the Community.

    9 Portugal

    1. Portugal is hereby authorized to maintain the facility afforded to the Autonomous Regions of Azores and Madeira to benefit from an interest-free credit facility with the Banco de Portugal under the terms established by existing Portuguese law.

    2. Portugal commits itself to pursue its best endeavors in order to put an end to the above mentioned facility as soon as possible.


    10 EMU third stage

    THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

    Declare the irreversible character of the Community's movement to the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union by signing the new Treaty provisions on Economic and Monetary Union.

    Therefore all Member States shall, whether they fulfil the necessary conditions for the adoption of a single currency or not, respect the will for the Community to enter swiftly into the third stage, and therefore no Member State shall prevent the entering into the third stage.

    If by the end of 1997 the date of the beginning of the third stage has not been set, the Member States concerned, the Community institutions and other bodies involved shall expedite all preparatory work during 1998, in order to enable the Community to enter the third stage irrevocably on 1 January 1999 and to enable the ECB and ESCB to start their full functioning from this date.

    This Protocol shall be annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community.


    11 EMU and UK

    THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

    RECOGNIZING that the United Kingdom shall not be obliged or committed to move to the third stage of economic and monetary union without a separate decision to do so by its government and Parliament,

    NOTING the practice of the government of the United Kingdom to fund its borrowing requirement by the sale of debt to the private sector.

    HAVE AGREED the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community:

    1. The United Kingdom shall notify the Council whether it intends to move to the third stage before the Council makes its assessment under Article 109j(2) of this Treaty;

    Unless the United Kingdom notifies the Council that it intends to move to the third stage, it shall be under no obligation to do so. If no date is set for the beginning of the third stage under Article 109j(3) of this Treaty, the United Kingdom may notify its intention to move to the third stage before 1 January 1998.

    2. Paragraphs 3 to 9 shall have effect if the United Kingdom notifies the Council that it does not intend to move to the third stage.

    3. The United Kingdom shall not be included among the majority of Member States which fulfil the necessary conditions referred to in the second indent of Article 109j(2) and the first indent of Article 109j(3) of this Treaty.

    4. The United Kingdom shall retain its powers in the field of monetary policy according to national law.

    5. Articles 3a(2), 104c(1), (9) and (11), 105(1) to (5), 105a, 107, 108, 108a, 109, 109a(1) and (2)(b) and 109l(4) and (5) of this Treaty shall not apply to the United Kingdom. In these provisions references to the Community or the Member States shall not include the United Kingdom and references to national central banks shall not include the Bank of England.

    6. Articles 109e(4) and 109h and i of this Treaty shall continue to apply to the United Kingdom. Articles 109c(4) and 109m shall apply to the United Kingdom as if it had a derogation.

    7. The voting rights of the United Kingdom shall be suspended in respect of acts of the Council referred to in Articles listed in paragraph 5. For this purpose the weighted votes of the United Kingdom shall be excluded from any calculation of a qualified majority under Article 109k(5) of this Treaty.

    The United Kingdom shall also have no right to participate in the appointment of the President, the Vice-President and the other members of the Executive Board of the ECB under Articles 109a(2)(b) and 109l(1) of this Treaty.

    8. Articles 3, 4, 6, 7, 9.2, 10.1, 10.3, 11.2, 12.1, 14, 16, 18 to 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 30 to 34, 50 and 52 of the Protocol on the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank ('the Statute') shall not apply to the United Kingdom. In those Articles, references to the Community or the Member States shall not include the United Kingdom and references to national central banks or shareholders shall not include the Bank of England.

    References in Articles 10.3 and 30.2 of the Statute to 'subscribed capital of the ECB' shall not include capital subscribed by the Bank of England.

    9. Article 109(3) of this Treaty and Articles 44 to 48 of the Statute shall have effect, whether or not there is any Member State with a derogation, subject to the following amendments:

    • (a) References in Article 44 to the tasks of the ECB and the EMI shall include those tasks that still need to be performed in the third stage owing to any decision of the United Kingdom not to move to that stage.
    • (b) In addition to the tasks referred to in Article 47 the ECB shall also give advice in relation to and contribute to the preparation of any decision of the Council with regard to the United Kingdom taken in accordance with paragraphs 10(a) and 10(c).
    • (c) The Bank of England shall pay up its subscription to the capital of the ECB as a contribution of its operational costs on the same basis as national central banks of Member States with a derogation.

    10. If the United Kingdom does not move to the third stage, it may change its notification at any time after the beginning of that stage. In that event:

    • (a) The United Kingdom shall have the right to move to the third stage provided only that it satisfies the necessary conditions. The Council, acting at the request of the United Kingdom and under the conditions and in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 109k(2) of this Treaty, shall decide whether it fulfills the necessary conditions.
    • (b) The Bank of England shall pay up its subscribed capital, transfer to the ECB foreign reserve assets and contribute to its reserves on the same basis as the national central bank of a Member State whose derogation has been abrogated.
    • (c) The Council, acting under the conditions and in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 109(5) of this Treaty, shall take all other necessary decisions to enable the United Kingdom to move to the third stage.
    If the United Kingdom moves to the third stage pursuant to the provisions of this protocol, paragraphs 3 to 9 shall cease to have effect.

    11. Notwithstanding Articles 104 and 109e(3) of this Treaty and Article 21.1 of the Statute, the government of the United Kingdom may maintain its ways and means facility with the Bank of Eng;and if and so long as the United Kingdom does not move to the third stage.


    12 EMU and Denmark

    THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

    DESIRING to settle, in accordance with the general objectives of the Treaty establishing the European Community, certain particular problems existing at the present time,

    TAKING INTO ACCOUNT that the Danish Constitution contains provisions which may imply a referendum in Denmark prior to Danish participation in the third stage of Economic and Monetary Union,

    HAVE AGREED on the following provisions, which shall be annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community:

    1. The Danish Government shall notify the Council of its position concerning participation in the third stage before the Council makes its assessment under Article 109j(2) of this Treaty.

    2. In the event of a notification that Denmark will not participate in the third stage, Denmark shall have an exemption. The effect of the exemption shall be that all Articles and provisions of this Treaty and the Statute of the ESCB referring to a derogation shall be applicable to Denmark.

    3. In such case, Denmark shall not be included among the majority of Member States which fulfil the necessary conditions referred to in the second indent of Article 109j(2) and the first indent of Article 109j(3) of this Treaty.

    4. As for the abrogation of the exemption, the procedure referred to in Article 109k(2) shall only be initiated at the request of Denmark.

    13 France

    France will keep the privilege of monetary emission in its overseas territories under the terms established by its national laws, and will be solely entitled to determine the parity of the CFP franc.


    14 Social Policy

    THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES, NOTING that eleven Member States, that is to say the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Kingdom of Spain, the French Republic, Ireland, the Italian Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Portuguese Republic, wish to continue along the path laid down in the 1989 Social Charter; that they have adopted among themselves an Agreement to this end; that this Agreement is annexed to this Protocol; that this Protocol and the said Agreement are without prejudice to the provisions of this Treaty, particularly those relating to social policy which constitute an integral part of the 'acquis communautaire':

    1. Agree to authorize those eleven Member States to have recourse to the institutions, procedures and mechanisms of the Treaty for the purposes of taking among themselves and applying as far as they are concerned the acts and decisions required for giving effect to the abovementioned Agreement.

    2. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland shall not take part in the deliberations and the adoption by the Council of Commission proposals made on the basis of the Protocol and the above mentioned Agreement.

    By way of derogation from Article 148(2) of the Treaty, acts of the Council which are made pursuant to this Protocol and which must be adopted by a qualified majority shall be deemed to be so adopted if they have received at least forty-four votes in favour. The unanimity of the members of the Council, with the exception of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, shall be necessary for acts of the Council which must be adopted unanimously and for those amending the Commission proposal.

    Acts adopted by the Council and any financial consequences other than administrative costs entailed for the institutions shall not be applicable to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    3. This Protocol shall be annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community.

    AGREEMENT ON SOCIAL POLICY

    The undersigned eleven HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES, that is to say, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Kingdom of Denmark, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Hellenic Republic, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Portuguese Republic (hereinafter referred to as 'the Member States'),

    WISHING TO implement the 1989 Social Charter on the basis of the 'acquis communautaire',

    CONSIDERING the Protocol on social policy,

    HAVE AGREED as follows:

    Article 1. The Community and the Member States shall have as their objectives the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions, proper social protection, dialogue between management and labour, the development of human resources with a view to lasting high employment and the combating of exclusion. To this end the Community and Member States shall implement measures which take account of the diverse forms of national practices, in particular in the field of contractual relations, and the need to maintain the competitiveness of the Community economy.

    Article 2.

    1. With a view to achieving the objectives of Article 1, the Community shall support and complement the activities of the Member States in the following fields:

    • improvement in particular of the working environment to protect workers' health and safety;
    • working conditions;
    • the information and consultation of workers; equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work;
    • the integration of persons excluded from the labour market, without prejudice to Article 127 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (hereinafter referred to as 'the Treaty').

    2. To this end, the Council may adopt, by means of directives, minimum requirements for gradual implementation, having regard to the conditions and technical rules obtaining in each of the Member States. Such directives shall avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of small and medium-sized undertakings. The Council shall act in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 189c of the Treaty after consulting the Economic and Social Committee.

    3. However, the Council shall act unanimously on a proposal from the Commission, after consulting the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee, in the following areas:

    • social security and social protection of workers;
    • protection of workers where their employment contract is terminated;
    • representation and collective defence of the interests of workers and employers, including co-determination, subject to paragraph 6;
    • conditions of employment for third-country nationals legally residing in Community territory;
    • financial contributions for promotion of employment and job-creation, without prejudice to the provisions relating to the Social Fund.

    4. A Member State may entrust management and labour, at their joint request, with the implementation of directives adopted pursuant to paragraphs 2 and 3.

    In this case, it shall ensure that, no later than the date on which a directive must be transposed in accordance with Article 189, management and labour have introduced the necessary measures by agreement, the Member State concerned being required to take any necessary measure enabling it at any time to be in a position to guarantee the results imposed by that directive.

    5. The provisions adopted pursuant to this Article shall not prevent< any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective measures compatible with the Treaty.

    6. The provisions of this Article shall not apply to pay, the right of association, the right to strike or the right to impose lock-outs.

    Article 3.

    1. The Commission shall have the task of promoting the consultation of management and labour at Community level and shall take any relevant measure to facilitate their dialogue by ensuring balanced support for the parties.

    2. To this end, before submitting proposals in the social policy field, the Commission shall consult management and labour on the possible direction of Community action.

    3. If, after such consultation, the Commission considers Community action advisable, it shall consult management and labour on the content of the envisaged proposal. Management and labour shall forward to the Commission an opinion or, where appropriate, a recommendation.

    4. On the occasion of such consultation, management and labour may inform the Commission of their wish to initiate the process provided for in Article 4. The duration of the procedure shall not exceed nine months, unless the management and labour concerned and the Commission decide jointly to extend it.

    Article 4.

    1. Should management and labour so desire, the dialogue between them at Community level may lead to contractual relations, including agreements.

    2. Agreements concluded at Community level shall be implemented either in accordance with the procedures and practices specific to management and labour and the Member States or, in matters covered by Article 2, at the joint request of the signatory parties, by a Council decision on a proposal from the Commission.

    The Council shall act by qualified majority, except where the agreement in question contains one or more provisions relating to one of the areas referred to in Article 2(3), in which case it shall act unanimously.

    Article 5. With a view to achieving the objectives of Article 1 and without prejudice to the other provisions of the Treaty, the Commission shall encourage co-operation between the Member States and facilitate the co-ordination of their action in all social policy fields under this Agreement.

    Article 6.

    1. Each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work is applied.

    2. For the purpose of this Article, 'pay' means the ordinary basic or minimum wage or salary and any other consideration, whether in cash or in kind, which the worker receives directly or indirectly, in respect of his employment, from his employer.

    Equal pay without discrimination based on sex means:

    • (a) that pay for the same work at piece rates shall be calculated on the basis of the same unit of measurement.
    • (b) that pay for work at time rates shall be the same for the same job.

    3. This Article shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or adopting measures providing for specific advantages in order to make it easier for women to pursue a vocational activity or to prevent or compensate for disadvantages in their professional careers.

    Article 7. The Commission shall draw up a report each year on progress in achieving the objective of Article I, including the demographic situation in the Community. It shall forward the report to the European Parliament, the Council and the Economic and Social Committee.

    The European Parliament may invite the Commission to draw up reports on particular problems concerning the social situation.

    DECLARATIONS

    1. Declaration on Article 2(2)

    The eleven High Contracting Parties note that in the discussions on Article 2(2) of the Agreement it was agreed that the Community does not intend, in laying down minimum requirements for the protection of the safety and health of employees, to discriminate in a manner unjustified by the circumstances against employees in small and medium-sized undertakings.

    2. Declaration on Article 4(2)

    The eleven High Contracting Parties declare that the first of the arrangements for application of the agreements between management and labour at Community level - referred to in Article 4(2) - will consist in developing, by collective bargaining according to the rules of each Member State, the content of the agreements, and that consequently this arrangement implies no obligation on the Member States to apply the agreements directly or to work out rules for their transposition, or any obligation to amend national legislation in force to facilitate their implementation.

    15 Economic and social cohesion

    THE HIGH CONTRACTING PARTIES,

    RECALLING that the Union has set itself the objective of promoting economic and social progress, inter alia, through the strengthening of economic and social cohesion;

    RECALLING that Article 2 of the Treaty establishing the European Community includes the task of promoting economic and social cohesion and solidarity between Member States and that the strengthening of economic and social cohesion figures among the activities of the Community listed in Article 3;

    RECALLING that the provisions of Part Three, Title XIV, on economic and social cohesion as a whole provide the legal basis for consolidating and further developing the Community's action in the field of economic and social cohesion, including the creation of a new fund;

    RECALLING that the provisions of Part Three, Title XII on trans-European networks and Title XVI on environment envisage a Cohesion Fund to be set up before 31 December 1993;

    STATING their belief that progress towards Economic and Monetary Union will contribute to the economic growth of all Member States;

    NOTING that the Community's Structural Funds are being doubled in real terms between 1987 and 1993, implying large transfers, especially as a proportion of GDP of the less prosperous Member States;

    NOTING that the European Investment Bank is lending large and increasing amounts for the benefit of the poorer regions;

    NOTING the desire for greater flexibility in the arrangements for allocation from the Structural Funds;

    NOTING the desire for modulation of the levels of Community participation in programmes and projects in certain countries;

    NOTING the proposal to take greater account of the relative prosperity of Member States in the system of own resources; REAFFIRM that the promotion of economic and social cohesion is vital to the full development and enduring success of the Community, and underline the importance of the inclusion of economic and social cohesion in Articles 2 and 3 of this Treaty;

    REAFFIRM their conviction that the Structural Funds should continue to play a considerable part in the achievement of Community objectives in the field of cohesion;

    REAFFIRM their conviction that the European Investment Bank should continue to devote the majority of its resources to the promotion of economic and social cohesion, and declare their willingness to review the capital needs of the European Investment Bank as soon as this is necessary for that purpose;

    REAFFIRM the need for a thorough evaluation of the operation and effectiveness of the Structural Funds in 1992, and the need to review, on that occasion, the appropriate size of these Funds in the light of the tasks of the Community in the area of economic and social cohesion;

    AGREE that the Cohesion Fund to be set up before 31 December 1993 will provide Community financial contributions to projects in the fields of environment and trans-European networks in Member States with a per capita GNP of less than 90% of the Community average which have a programme leading to the fulfilment of the conditions of economic convergence as set out in Article 104c;

    DECLARE their intention of allowing a greater margin of flexibility in allocating financing from the Structural Funds to specific needs not covered under the present Structural Funds regulations;

    DECLARE their willingness to modulate the levels of Community participation in the context of programmes and projects of the Structural Funds, with a view to avoiding excessive increases in budgetary expenditure in the less prosperous Member States;

    RECOGNIZE the need to monitor regularly the progress made towards achieving economic and social cohesion and state their willingness to study all necessary measures in this respect;

    DECLARE their intention of taking greater account of the contributive capacity of individual Member States in the system of own resources, and of examining means of correcting, for the less prosperous Member States, regressive elements existing in the present own resources system;

    AGREE to annex this Protocol to the Treaty establishing the European Community.


    16 Economic and Social Committee: Committee of the Regions

    The Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions shall have a common organizational structure.


    17 Irish Constitution

    Nothing in the Treaty on European Union, or in the Treaties establishing the European Communities, or in the Treaties or Acts modifying or supplementing those Treaties, shall affect the application in Ireland of Article 40.3.3 of the Constitution of Ireland.

    Declaration on Protocol 17

    On 1 May 1992, in Guimaraes (Portugal), the High Contracting Parties to the Treaty on European Union adopted the following Declaration:

    The High Contracting Parties to the Treaty on European Union signed at Maastricht on the seventh day of February 1992,

    Having considered the terms of Protocol No 17 to the said Treaty on European Union which is annexed to that Treaty and to the Treaties establishing the European Communities,

    Hereby give the following legal interpretation:

    That it was and is their intention that the Protocol shall not limit freedom to travel between Member States or, in accordance with conditions which may be laid down, in conformity with Community law, by Irish legislation, to obtain or make available in Ireland information relating to services lawfully available in Member States.

    At the same time the High Contracting Parties solemly declare that, in the event of a future constitutional amendment in Ireland which concerns the subject matter of Article 40.3.3. of the Constitution of Ireland and which does not conflict with the intention of the High Contracting Parties hereinbefore expressed, they will, following the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union, be favourably disposed to amending the said Protocol so as to extend its application to such constitutional amendment if Ireland so requests.


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