Negative Euro Area Interest Rates and Spillovers on Western Balkan Central Bank Policies and Instruments

May 4–5, 2017

The Bank of Albania (BoA) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are inviting paper submissions for a conference on “Negative Euro Area Interest Rates and Spillovers on Western Balkan Central Bank Policies and Instruments.” The conference, which is sponsored by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, Economic Cooperation and Development (SECO), will be held in Tirana, Albania, on Thursday and Friday May 4–5, 2017.


 The low inflation and low interest rates in the euro area represent a challenge for the conduct of monetary policy for the central banks in the Western Balkans, as well as to their financial stability. Despite different monetary policy arrangements, countries in the region (Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and Serbia) share similar challenges for monetary policy design and implementation due to financial euroization and similar links to euro area economies.

This conference will provide an opportunity for policy makers and senior officials from Western Balkan central banks to exchange views with each other and with other central banks in the vicinity of the euro area on monetary policy, financial stability, and reserve management challenges arising from negative policy rates in the euro area and the European Central Bank’s asset purchase program. The aim of the conference is to identify the peculiar challenges in these different areas, take stock of the different policy responses, and assess their effects with a view to identifying those that can be considered more effective than others in the given circumstances.

Final Program Agenda

Participant Bios


  Thursday, May 4, 2017 
 Day One

Session 1: Financial Stability 

Banks' balance sheet response to the low euro area interest rates in Western Balkan and financial stability issues

Effects of negative euro area interest rates on financial euroization and on the design of de-euroization policies

The possible role of mcro-prudential policies

Presentations from Session 1


Session 2: FX Reserve Management

International experiences with reserve management in the context of low interest rates in the euro area
Challenges for reserve management in central banks of Western Balkans

Presentations from Session 2

  Friday, May 5, 2017 
 Day Two

Session 3: Monetary Policy Design and Implementation

International experiences with spillover of low interest rate in the vicinity of the euro area

Policy response and implementation challenges in fixed exchange rate arrangement regimes

Policy response and implementation challenges in flexible exchange rate arrangements with inflation targeting

Presentations from Session 3


The proposals for contribution will be submitted to a review committee composed of representatives of the BoA and the IMF. Please send submissions to, and by March 1, 2017.


Following the conference, the BoA, in cooperation with the IMF, will prepare a summing up of the main policy messages on addressing most efficiently the common challenges of the central banks in the region, which will be published in the form of a book on the BoA website. Selected papers will be considered for inclusion in this publication.