European Commission will work with Belgian National Bank to carry out EU recovery plan

The European Commission has decided to use the market infrastructure and expertise of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) to issue the €800 billion-plus bond package allocated to the EU's NextGenerationEU recovery plan, the two institutions announced on Tuesday.

The European Central Bank (ECB) will act as the payment bank, while the NBB will handle the issuance of bonds in its securities settlement system. The cooperation is expected to start in the summer of 2023, once the technical and legal preparations have been completed.

"The cooperation with the Commission is a wonderful way of highlighting an important activity of the National Bank that is little known to the general public. It once again shows that we have an efficient financial markets department", NBB Governor Pierre Wunsch said in a statement.

The NBB is one of the only central banks in the eurozone that has developed a system for issuing and settling securities, the statement reads. "Its Payments and Securities Department has considerable experience in this activity and a great deal of human and technological know-how. The department has been processing the securities of the Federal Debt Agency and numerous Belgian and foreign issuers since 1991, for example.

In the future, the European Commission will also be able to use the NBB to issue securities for other financial projects, such as the RePowerEU programme aimed at making Europe less dependent on Russian oil and gas.




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