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Relations with the IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is the world's most important organisation for international co-operation in macroeconomic and monetary issues. With its 185 member countries, it aims to ensure the stability of the international monetary system.

The IMF's main purposes are the promotion of global financial co-operation and stability, and the facilitation of international trade. The Fund thereby contributes to high economic growth and high levels of employment. In order to achieve these goals, the IMF:

  • monitors national, global, and regional economic and financial developments and advises member countries on their economic policies;
  • provides resources to member countries experiencing temporary balance of payments problems; and
  • offers technical assistance, as well as training for government and central bank officials.

As only states are members of the IMF, the European Union is represented therein by its Member States. However, the Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs participates in the annual and spring meetings of the Bretton Woods institutions on behalf of the European Commission. Currently, the EU Member States coordinate their positions in the IMF in Brussels at the Economic and Financial Committee meetings and in Washington where the group of EU representatives to the IMF (so-called EURIMF) meets regularly. However, in some cases coordination remains insufficient. Further improvement of the coordination by the election of a chairman of the EURIMF for two years term (he was appointed for the first time in 2007) and the foreseen appointment of a Commission official in the office of one of the euro-area's Executive Directors should lead to a stronger and more influential voice for Europe within the IMF.