Jens Weidmann: Introductory panel statement

Speech by Dr Jens Weidmann, President of the Deutsche Bundesbank and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements, at the Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability "ECB and Its Watchers XXI conference", Frankfurt am Main, 30 September 2020.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
30 September 2020

1 Introduction

Chère Christine,

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted to moderate the first debate today.

Dear Volker,

Thank you very much for your invitation and for organising this conference as a hybrid event. In times like these, we are becoming more and more experienced in communicating virtually. Nevertheless, there is always a lingering sense of uncertainty about whether the technical set-up will work properly.

Before our single monetary policy started, there may also have been doubts about whether the Eurosystem could fulfil its mandate to maintain price stability. Looking back now - on more than 21 years of monetary policy and also "ECB watching" - the Eurosystem has delivered on the promise made to the people of Europe to keep prices stable. This has been a truly remarkable success. One key element in this has been the clarity of the mandate itself. In late 1998, the ECB's first president, Wim Duisenberg, outlined the strategy for the single monetary policy in a speech. He started from his conviction that, by maintaining price stability, "monetary policy makes the greatest possible contribution towards raising the standard of living of Europe's citizens and improving growth and employment prospects". This fundamental tenet also inspired the European Treaties, which enshrine price stability as our primary objective.