Blue Book

The publication of the European Central Bank titled "Payment and Securities Settlement Systems in European Union" published in August 2007 is available as a file in pdf format (in English version to the extent: I. volume (4,6 MB) and II. volume (4,8 MB).

The publication provides a comprehensive description of payment and securities settlement systems in member states of the European Union. The first similar report was released in the year 1992 that described the systems of the then twelve Member States of the European Community. The second and the third edition were published in 1996 and 2001 respectively. The fourth edition reflects changes over the time 2001 till 2007.

Following the entry of the former accession countries into the European Union the scope of publication considerably increased. For practical reasons, the last edition of publication has been split divided into two volumes. The first volume comprises the chapter of euro area and individual country chapters of particular countries of the euro area while the second one comprises the chapters of non-euro area countries.

The euro area chapter describes the aspects and features of payment and securities settlement systems, which are typical for the Eurosystem as a whole. This chapter also describes the common legal and regulatory framework focusing mainly on the role of the European Central Bank and the Eurosystem. The individual country chapters in both, the first and second volume deal with the respective infrastructure of national payment and securities settlement systems. These offer an overview of institutional aspects as well as widespread description of means of payment used, retail payment systems, interbank settlement and securities settlement systems.

In comparison with previous editions of the Blue Book (including version published in 2002, PDF file 4,3 MB), version of 2007 doesn´t contain statistical addendums. Respective statistical data in the area of payment systems of the European Union countries, collected on an annual basis, are available on the website

The publication was prepared by the European Central Bank in cooperation with central banks of European Union and is available in electronic version and can be downloaded from the website

Details for the Slovak Republic have been worked out by the National Bank of Slovakia.