European Central Bank

Since 1 January1999, The European Central Bank has been in charge of the monetary policies in the Eurozone.  It was established, along with the European System of Central Banks (ESCB), on 1 June 1998.  Even though it is an integral part of the institutional structure of the European Union (EU), it is independent from other EU institutions and bodies, as well as from the governments of the Member States or other subjects.

The European Central Bank has its seat in Frankfurt (Germany) and acts as the base for the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) and the Eurosystem. ESCB defines and implements the monetary policy for the Eurozone, conducts exchange transactions, maintains and administers currency reserves for the Eurozone countries and promotes smooth operation of the banking payment system. The Eurosystem is comprised of the European Central Bank and the national central banks of the Eurozone countries.  The Eurosystem and ESCB will operate in parallel until such time as all the Member States have adopted the euro as their currency.

The top bodies of the European Central Bank are the Governing Council, the Executive Board and the General Council. The European Central Bank is headed by its president, who at the present time is Jean-Claude Trichet.

Last update: 16.8.2011 16:02

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