European Central Bank (ECB)
Founded on 30 June 1998 in Frankfurt, the European Central Bank (ECB) is responsible for implementing monetary policy in the Eurozone. Its main task is to maintain price stability in the Eurozone and, consequently, to preserve the purchasing power of the Euro. The Eurozone comprises the sixteen countries of the European Union (EU) which have introduced the Euro since 1999.
The European Central Bank and the national central banks constitute the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).
The decision-making bodies of the ECB (Executive Board and Governing Council) administer the ESCB, whose roles are to manage money supply, conduct exchange operations, hold and manage the official foreign reserve assets of the Member States and ensure the smooth functioning of payment systems.
With the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Central Bank becomes an EU institution in its own right. It has legal personality and acts totally independently. It alone has the power to authorise the issue of the Euro.
The managing bodies of the ECB are:
- The Governing Council, made up of the members of the Executive Board and the Governors of the national central banks of the Member States which have adopted the Euro.
- The Executive Board, made up of the President, the Vice-President and four other members appointed by the European Council, acting by qualified majority on a recommendation from the Council and after consulting the European Parliament and the Governing Board of the European Central Bank. Their term of office is eight years and is not renewable.