Feb 26, 2021

Added Value of Joint Cooperation between CEF and National Bank of Belgium

Our partnership with the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) has begun years ago with a lot of enthusiasm to support capacity development efforts of central banks in SEE. We are pleased that both sides continue to recognize the value of this partnership. Here we share some thoughts by Mr. Xavier Hawia, Advisor at the NBB, about the underlying factors that have led to successful co-operation between our institutions.

Since its establishment in 1850, the NBB has no doubt undergone some transformations and processes of adaptation. What mechanisms does your institution have nowadays to meet the requisites of modern organizations, such as teamwork, information and knowledge sharing, and agility for responding to changes?

The NBB has indeed undergone many changes in its history. For example, the introduction of the euro, which strongly affected the NBB’s functioning, but also the integration of micro-and macroprudential responsibilities following the financial crisis of 2007-2008.

The NBB is very active at the international level in a constantly evolving environment, and has set up and developed a specific work unit to coordinate its relations with numerous European and international institutions to ensure the consistency of the NBB’s viewpoints and to develop synergies within the NBB. This unit created a comprehensive intranet site based on Microsoft SharePoint to collect and manage all the documents and reports necessary for the interaction of the NBB with international institutions.

Since 2015, the NBB has been developing five-year strategic exercises to make the bank more agile, lean, efficient, and socially responsible. The Covid-19 crisis has intensified the rollout of virtual collaboration tools.

The NBB and the CEF have had a great partnership for some years now. What benefits do you see in the collaboration of our institutions?

The NBB and the CEF are clearly complementary, the NBB bringing its knowledge and the CEF its hub competences. For the NBB, the CEF is a bridge for many players in the region and helps us cooperate, learn and share a broad range of experiences. The NBB staff remains fully committed to contribute to the CEF’s activities.

Over the years, the NBB has provided expertise for the CEF courses on central banking. Going forward, how do you see our cooperation and the roles of our institutions, especially concerning the future EU enlargement processes?

Cooperation between the CEF and the NBB remains crucial in the context of future EU enlargement but it even goes further. The environment of central banks is constantly changing and new developments, like big data, digital currency, communication policy, and accountability will continue to affect all central banks. This makes the CEF an even more relevant player in the region.