Meeting of the Supervisory Board of Eesti Pank
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, the Supervisory Board approved the list of members proposed by the Governor of the central bank for the five-year term of the Fiscal Council, with Professor Raul Eamets, Programme Leader for Doctoral Studies of Economics at the University of Tartu as chair.
The Fiscal Council will be an independent body and will its role will be to assess Estonian fiscal policy. Financial expert Andrus Alber will be Vice-Chair of the council, and the members will be Urmas Varblane, professor of economics at the University of Tartu; Andres Võrk, an analyst at the political research centre PRAXIS; Ülo Kaasik, Deputy Governor of Eesti Pank; and Martti Randveer, Head of the Economics and Research Department at Eesti Pank.
Governor Ardo Hansson presented the members of the Fiscal Council and said they were experts in macroeconomic forecasting and fiscal policy. He emphasised that these are recognised experts who are not directly connected with any political party.
The legal basis for the Fiscal Council is the budget law passed by the Riigikogu in March. The law says the Fiscal Council is an independent advisory body that assesses the macroeconomic and monetary forecasts of the state and how well the budget rules in the State Budget Act and European Union law are followed. Under European Union law a similar sort of council needs to be set up in each member state of the euro area.
The statute of the Council requires it to publish its opinion on the forecasts for the macro economy and state financing and on the budget strategy and how the goals of the structural budget position of the general government are being achieved.
The Fiscal Council meets whenever necessary, but at least five times a year. Two economists from Eesti Pank will support the work of the Council with technical analysis, and one of the economists will take on the role of secretary to the Council.
The Council has six members. Under the statute, the Council's Chair, Vice-Chair and four members are nominated to office for a period of five years by the Eesti Pank Supervisory Board at the proposal of the Governor of the central bank.
Members of the Council must have unblemished reputations, a Master's degree or equivalent in economics, and experience that will help the Fiscal Council to fulfil its functions. Members of the Fiscal Council may not have a job or other position that could affect the independence of the Council in its work.
At the meeting, the Supervisory board endorsed the Eesti Pank annual report for 2013, which will be published on 10 June when Governor Ardo Hansson presents it to the Riigikogu.
At the meeting of the Supervisory Board, Eesti Pank Governor Ardo Hansson gave board members the regular review of the state of the economy in the euro area and Deputy Governor Madis Müller presented the Financial Stability Review published in April.
The next meeting of the Eesti Pank Supervisory Board will be on 10 June.