On October 18, 2002, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the discussion of the monetary and exchange rate policies of the euro area and the trade policies of the European Union. The background section of this PIN reflects information available at the time of the Executive Board meeting.1
Under Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreement, the IMF holds bilateral discussions with members, usually every year. A staff team visits the country, collects economic and financial information, and discusses with officials the country’s economic developments and policies. In the present case, Fund staff held discussions with European Union institutions, including the European Central Bank, in the context of the Article IV consultations with the euro area’s member states. On return to headquarters, the staff prepares a report, which forms the basis for discussion by the Executive Board. At the conclusion of the discussion, the Managing Director, as Chairman of the Board, summarizes the views of Executive Directors, and this summary is transmitted to the country’s authorities. This PIN summarizes the views of the Executive Board as expressed during the October 18, 2002 Executive Board discussion based on the staff report. The ECB’s observer at the Fund participated in that meeting.